Celsius’ co-founder Daniel Leon follows Mashinsky out as crypto exec flight continues

By akohad Oct5,2022


S. Daniel Leon, who cofounded Celsius with Alex Mashinsky in 2017, has quit his job as the bankrupt crypto lender’s chief strategy officer, CNBC reported Oct. 4, citing unnamed sources and an internal memo seen by the outlet. Bloomberg later reported receiving confirmation of Leon’s resignation from the company. Leon’s resignation comes one week after Mashinsky’s and is part of an apparently growing trend.

Celsius filed for bankruptcy July 13, while it was under investigation by six American states and a month after freezing withdrawals. The company was reportedly $1.9 billion in debt at the time of its bankruptcy declaration. Mashinsky resigned Sept. 27, saying in a statement, “I regret that my continued role as CEO has become an increasing distraction, and I am very sorry about the difficult financial circumstances members of our community are facing.” His financial dealings and handling of the firm’s final days of solvency were the subjects of intense scrutiny.

Leon filed in U.S. bankruptcy court to have his 32,600 common shares of the company declared worthless on Sept. 5. Bids on Celsius assets will be accepted through Oct. 17, with an auction set for Oct. 20, if necessary. FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was reportedly among the interested bidders.

Related: Celsius bankruptcy proceedings show complexities amid declining hope of recovery

Leon has joined a steady stream of executives departing from the crypto sector as the crypto winter stretches on. Some execs, such as former MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, FTX US president Brett Harrison and Genesis CEO Michael Moro and managing director Matthew Ballensweig moved into less visible advisory roles. Others, such as former Alameda Research co-CEO Sam Trabucco, Ignite CEO Peng Zhong and bankrupt Voyager Digital’s chief financial officer Ashwin Prithipaul have changed direction entirely.

All of those leaders have left their positions since July.