Blythe Masters, the public face of distributed ledger firm Digital Asset, has stepped down as CEO for "personal reasons".
Masters, a former JPMorgan bigwig, was one of the first high profile bankers to quit finance to run a blockchain startup. During her tenure, Digital Asset has scored deals with SIX Swiss Exchange and the Australian Securities Exchange but has yet to put its technology into full production.
AG Gangadhar, who joined the company’s Board in April, after stints at Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Uber, has been appointed chairman and will take over from Masters as acting CEO until a permanent replacement is named.
The Australian Stock Exchange, which has committed to replacing its post-trade settlement system with Digital Asset technology - and holds a seven percent stake in the firm - praised the outgoing CEO.
"Blythe has made an enormous contribution to the global advancement of distributed ledger technology and is a good friend of ASX. We thank her and wish her the very best," says ASX's deputy chief executive Peter Hiom. “ASX remains absolutely committed to DLT and our partnership with Digital Asset (DA) - our Chess replacement programme is on track and moving ahead at pace."
Masters says she will remain involved in the company as a board member, strategic advisor and shareholder.
“Digital Asset has evolved from an ambitious idea to a truly global software engineering firm," she says. "We are fortunate to have a deep bench of accomplished executives on the management team and Board, including AG, who have the requisite experience to take the company to the next level. Having come to know and trust AG as an advisor and Board member, I am convinced that he brings what’s needed to guide the company through its next phase.”