Chinese Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain’s co-founders Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan Ketuan will quit their posts as co-CEOs but still steer the company’s important decisions. Hong Kong-based English-language news outlet South China Morning Post reported the news Jan. 10.
Referencing anonymous “people familiar with the matter,” the publication said Bitmain’s director of product engineering Wang Haichao would likely take over as CEO at an unspecified future date. Haichao has allegedly already taken over some of the duo’s former duties.
The reshuffle, which Bitmain declined to formally confirm, follows several weeks of rumors about changes at senior executive level.
Without quoting the sources specifically, the Post added that Wu and Zhan would subsequently become co-chairs of the company.
“After Wang takes over, Wu and Zhan will move away from the company’s day-to-day business activities but will still make final calls on big decisions,” one of the sources reportedly confirmed.
As reported, Chinese media first published rumors of Wu’s repositioning in late December. A month before, other rumors suggested Wu had lost his decision-making power altogether.
Bitmain is facing a major transition period at the start of 2019. Having shut down its operations in Israel last month, commentators expect the company to announce mass layoffs of staff in the near future.
Plans to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong have also faced doubts, possibly due to regulators’ apprehension at ongoing volatility in cryptocurrency markets.