Digital Asset, the leading provider of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), today announced the appointments of Tony James, Executive Vice Chairman of Blackstone, AG Gangadhar, former engineering executive at Amazon, Google and Uber, and Stephan Leithner, Executive Board Member of Deutsche Börse Group, to its board of directors.
“Digital Asset is on an ambitious path to deliver the first DLT solution to power systemically consequential marketplaces. It is now time to scale access to our technology to meet rising demand,” said Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset. “Tony, AG and Stephan bring unparalleled experience in driving scale in private equity, technology and financial industries. They will help shape our strategy and accelerate our mission to unleash web-paced innovation across multiple industries.”
James and Gangadhar are additions to the company’s board of directors. They join Digital Asset CEO, Blythe Masters, and company founders, Sunil Hirani (CEO of TrueEX) and Don R. Wilson (CEO of DRW). Other board members include Michael Bodson (CEO of DTCC), Peter Hiom (Deputy CEO of ASX), George Nunn (COO of Global Markets Americas at BNP Paribas), Sanoke Viswanathan (CAO of J.P.Morgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank), Sallie Krawcheck (CEO of Ellevest) and Cristóbal Conde (former CEO of Sungard Data Systems).
Hamilton “Tony” E. James is Executive Vice Chairman of Blackstone, and a member of the board of directors of its general partner, Blackstone Group Management L.L.C. He is also a member of Blackstone’s Management Committee and sits on each of the firm’s investment committees. James previously served as the firm’s President and Chief Operating Officer.
Before joining Blackstone in 2002, James was Chairman of Global Investment Banking and Private Equity at Credit Suisse First Boston and a member of the Executive Board. Prior to the acquisition of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) by Credit Suisse First Boston in 2000, James was the Chairman of DLJ’s Banking Group, responsible for all the firm’s investment and merchant banking activities.
“Blockchain technologies have enormous potential,” said James, whose family office, Jefferson River Capital, led Digital Asset’s Series B financing. “Digital Asset has both the leadership and the technology it needs to deliver. I'm delighted to play a role in guiding the company.”
AG Gangadhar is a revered engineer and team builder. He brings a deep knowledge of distributed systems and cloud infrastructures gained from decades of foundational experience at Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Uber. At Google, he built the first cloud infrastructure services, including Google Compute Engine, Google AppEngine, Google Cloud SQL, and Google Container Engine. He was responsible for all of Google's cluster management infrastructure including Borg, Omega and Machine Management. He also managed the application infrastructure that powers Google’s productivity applications, including Google Drive and Google Docs.
“The engineering challenges that Digital Asset has already conquered impress me,” said Gangadhar, who is currently CEO at a stealth robotics company. “I’m excited to be part of a team that is defining a category for an entirely new class of distributed applications.”
Stephan Leithner is a seasoned financial services executive who recently joined the Executive Board of Deutsche Börse AG, where he is responsible for the exchange’s post-trade business, Clearstream, and its data and index businesses.
“I am delighted to lend my expertise to help guide a company that is clearly on the forefront of a new technology revolution – a revolution which is certain to transform the financial services industry and other markets,” he said.
Before joining Deutsche Börse Group, Stephan Leithner was a partner at the alternative investment firm EQT, a position he held since 2016. Previously, he also served as member of the management board of Deutsche Bank AG from 2012 until 2015, where he led the bank’s global Corporate Finance franchise. Stephan Leithner was also a partner at McKinsey and Company and held leadership roles at the Swiss Institute for Banking and Finance.