- Kraken’s chief executive is offering employees who don’t agree with its values four months’ pay to leave.
- The program is called “Jet Skiing” and employees have until June 20 to participate, according to The New York Times.
- “We want this to feel like you’re jumping on a jet ski and happily moving on to your next adventure!” A memo about the program reads.
Kraken, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, will pay employees four months’ salary to leave if they don’t agree with its values, according to The New York Times.
In a report detailing the cultural turmoil within the company on Wednesday, the publication cited interviews with Kraken employees who recounted CEO Jesse Powell’s “hurtful” comments and derogatory remarks about women around preferred pronouns, among other inflammatory remarks.
The employees also said Powell held a company-wide meeting on June 1, where he unveiled a program called “Jet Skiing” designed to motivate employees who do not believe in Kraken’s typically liberal principles to leave.
A 31-page document titled “Kraken Culture Explained” positions the plan as a “recommitment” to the company’s core values. The Times reports that employees have until June 20 to participate in the buyout.
According to the Times, “If you want to leave Kraken, we want you to feel like you’re jumping on a motorboat and happily heading to your next adventure!” A memo about the acquisition reads.
Kraken did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
On Monday, Kraken executive Christina Yee wrote to employees in Slack that “there will be no meaningful change in the CEO, the company or the culture,” urging employees to go “where you won’t be disgusted,” The New York Times reported.
Before the article was published, Powell tweeted Wednesday, “Most people don’t care and just want to work, but they can’t be productive when triggered people keep dragging them into debates and therapy sessions. Our answer is to just lay out the culture document and say: agree and commit, disagree and commit, or take the cash.”
Powell said “20″ of the 3,200 employees disagreed with the company’s values, while noting there were “some heated arguments.”
Anti-institutional sentiment is common in cryptocurrencies and other decentralized financial spaces. It gives the industry common ground with some conservative figures who decry the ideals of “sobriety” and support what they see as freedom of speech.
According to the Times, Powell’s Kraken cultural manifesto includes a section titled “We do not forbid offense,” which emphasizes the importance of “tolerating different ideas” and says that “law-abiding citizens should be able to arm themselves.”
Powell is not alone in his stance. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk similarly said the “sober-minded virus” is hurting the business of streaming giant Netflix, which also shared a culture memo with its employees in May.
The company told employees they could quit if they disagreed with its displays, such as controversial comedian Dave Chappelle’s show, which drew backlash for jokes about transgender people.
Musk retweeted the message, writing, “Good move by @netflix.”
Post time: Jun-17-2022