- Kraken’s CEO is offering employees who disagree with his values four months’ pay to leave.
- The program is dubbed “Jet Ski” and employees have until June 20 to participate, The New York Times reported.
- “We want you to feel like you’re jumping on a jet ski and happily heading off on your next adventure!” read a note about the project.
Kraken, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, will pay employees four months’ salary to leave if they disagree with its values, according to The New York Times.
In a Wednesday report detailing the company’s internal cultural unrest, the publication cited interviews with Kraken employees who recounted “hurtful” comments around preferred pronouns and demeaning statements toward women, among other inflammatory remarks. , made by CEO Jesse Powell.
Employees also said Powell held a company-wide meeting on June 1 where he unveiled the program, called “Jet Ski,” designed to entice employees to leave if they don’t believe not to the crypto-typical libertarian principles of Kraken, the Times reported.
A 31-page document, known as “Kraken Culture Explained”, positioned the program as a “recommitment” to the company’s core values. Employees have until June 20 to participate in buyouts, The Times reported.
“If you want to leave Kraken behind, we want you to feel like you’re jumping on a jet ski and happily heading off on your next adventure!” read a memo on the takeovers, according to the Times.
Kraken did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
On Monday, Kraken director Christina Yee wrote in
to employees that “the CEO, the company and the culture aren’t going to change significantly,” urging workers to go “somewhere that doesn’t gross you out,” the Times reported.
In anticipation of the publication of the articles, Powell said on Twitter on Wednesday that “most people don’t care and just want to work, but they can’t be productive while triggered people keep dragging them into debates and therapy sessions. The answer for us was just to present the document on the culture and say, okay and commit, disagree and commit, or take the money.”
“20 out of 3,200” employees disagreed with the company’s values, Powell said, while noting there had been “some heated debates.”
Anti-establishment sentiment is common in cryptocurrency and other decentralized financial spaces. This gives the industry common ground with some conservative figures who decry “woke” ideals in favor of what they see as free speech.
Powell’s Kraken Culture Manifesto includes a section titled “we do not outlaw the offensive,” stresses the importance of having a “tolerance for diverse thought,” and states that “law-abiding citizens should be able to s ‘arm’, according to the Times.
Powell is not alone in his position. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk also said a “woke mind virus” is hurting business at streaming giant Netflix, which also shared a culture note with employees in May.
The company has told employees to quit if they disagree with content it features, such as comedian Dave Chappelle’s controversial program, which sparked backlash following jokes about people transgender.
Musk retweeted the news with the caption, “Good shot from @netflix.”