Ripple CEO Chris Larsen is stepping down, handing over to current COO and president Brad Garlinghouse, who will lead the next stage of the firm's efforts to transform cross-border payments through the use of distributed ledger technologies.
From 1 January, Larsen will become executive chairman at the firm he has built up over the last four years, signing up dozens of banks from around the world to its technology and raising more than $93 million.
Larsen, who will also remain Ripple's controlling shareholder says he "look[s] forward to taking a break from the day-to-day while staying highly involved in Ripple’s strategic direction".
Garlinghouse has been COO and president of the firm for the last year and a half having previously served as CEO of file sharing outfit Hightail and as an executive at Yahoo.
In just four years, Ripple has established itself as a key player in the fast-growing distributed ledger technology world. It recently closed a $55 million funding round, while a dozen member banks of the R3 distributed ledger consortium have been trialling its network and native currency to tackle the costs and inefficiencies of interbank cross-border payments.
In September the emboldened upstart began openly taking pops at the venerable Swift network, dissing its Global Payments Innovation initiative.
Says Larsen about his decision to move on: "I feel good about making this change next year - the business is stronger than ever and we have such an obvious and capable choice for CEO in Brad Garlinghouse. Brad was central to driving the focus and rigor in our organization that’s fueled Ripple’s ascension."