Algorand Appoints Interim CEO — What This Means For ALGO

Algorand’s appointment of interim CEO W. Sean Ford comes as the smart contract protocol is experiencing impressive ecosystem growth.

Covered:

  • Algorand’s Interim CEO
  • Recent Goings-on At Algorand
  • What’s Next For ALGO?

Algorand’s Interim CEO

Algorand (ticker symbol ALGO) announced today the appointment of W. Sean Ford as interim CEO, succeeding G. Steven Kokinos. Ford previously served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Algorand. 

Kokinos had been CEO since the Algorand’s inception. According to Algorand’s press release he “is leaving the company to pursue other interests.” In addition, he’s staying on as a Senior Advisor until mid-2023. 

The vague “pursue other interests” is usually code for an unamicable split, however, according to Kokinos’ Twitter, it appears to be on good enough terms seeing as he will still be working in the Algorand ecosystem. “Today I want to share with the #algofam that I’m transitioning out of my current role as @Algorand’s CEO to focus on key projects in the @Algorand ecosystem that will help scale adoption,” Kokinos said. 

Algorand founder Silvio Micali noted that Kokinos has “been instrumental to the initial success of our business, and we appreciate his commitment to a seamless transition.”

It’s unclear from the presser whether Ford’s interim status is more of a tryout or a placeholder. Micali said of Ford, “Sean is well positioned to partner with me to keep the company operations running business as usual, and to help us transition Algorand to our next phase of growth.”

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The Recent Goings-on Of Algorand

The news comes a week after the Algorand ecosystem faced some upheaval thanks to its Three Arrows Capital exposure. The exposure was by all accounts very minor, seeing as it involved a token sale.

Furthermore, the move to hire an interim CEO doesn’t appear to have anything to do with Three Arrows Capital, seeing as the Algorand Foundation was the one responsible for the token deal — current Algorand Foundation CEO Staci Warden was not responsible for the transaction, either. Currently, the foundation has filed a claim, but it’s unclear what exactly is in the claim.

The news of a new interim CEO, comes on the heels of explosive ecosystem growth from Algorand. As we reported last week, Algorand has seen its Defi TVL, and NFT daily volume, grow at a faster rate than any other protocol since the end of June.

Recently, Algorand’s biggest DeFi protocol AlgoFi announced a partnership with Coinbase. The partnership will see the protocol integrate with Coinbase pay allowing users to easily access Algorand’s DeFi ecosystem.

What’s Next For ALGO?

Ford, the newly appointed interim CEO, comes from a marketing background. Ford joined the protocol after a stint as Chief Marketing Officer for LogMeIn. He replaces Kokinos, whose CV is mostly related to founding tech startups. 

As mentioned earlier, it’s unclear what led to or motivated the shakeup. Nevertheless, the move could be a positive one for ALGO’s future.

The marketing of Algorand has long been a frustration of many in the ecosystem, so appointing someone steeped in the field, even on an interim basis, will be met with open arms by the community.

For as impressive as Algorand’s growth has been recently, the smart contract protocol has lagged behind many of its competitors. Algorand — which features incredibly fast settlement times, and regulatory-friendly relationships — beat Cardano and others to market with Defi and governance.

Despite that, the protocol is far behind Cardano (ticker symbol: ADA) in market cap. Currently, ALGO sits around 2.2 billion USD (32nd) as of press time, while ADA sits at over 16 billion (8th).

If this “next phase” includes an emphasis on marketing, it will certainly compliment Algorand Foundation’s aggressive funding for Ethereum bridge development.

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