Michael Saylor Quits As MicroStrategy CEO After Bitcoin Losses

Bitcoin maximalist and co-founder of MicroStrategy, Michael Saylor, is stepping down as a CEO. He will be executive chairman of the software firm, focusing solely on Bitcoin. Saylor has transferred the responsibility to his deputy Phong Le, the company's current president. Following his departure, the company's shares (NASDAQ: MSTR) soared nearly 15% on August 3.

Key Takeaways

  • Michael Saylor, the chief executive of MicroStrategy, will step down following a $917 million loss on Bitcoin investments.
  • Bitcoin advocate wants to focus solely on Bitcoin.
  • The software company's president, Phong Le, will become the new CEO.

Bitcoin Cost $1 Billion in Losses

The announcement came as the company reported its second-quarter earnings. According to the company's financial statements, it lost $1.062 billion mostly due to impairment charges of $917 million related to its Bitcoin holdings.

Being a Bitcoin advocate, Saylor always doubled down on acquiring Bitcoin. Under his leadership, the company acquired $250 million in Bitcoin in 2020, and it reported holding $1.988 billion in Bitcoin as of June 30th, 2022. The ongoing crypto winter has, however, plunged the price of Bitcoin, which is now less than half of its peak price.

However, the Love For Bitcoin is Far From Over

Microstrategy announced that Micheal Saylor would be taking up new responsibility as the executive chairman, where his focus will be more on Bitcoin. In his words, "As Executive Chairman, I will be able to focus more on our bitcoin acquisition strategy and related bitcoin advocacy initiatives, while Phong will be empowered as CEO to manage overall corporate operations." Saylor's next step with Bitcoin is not clear yet.

The Bottom Line

Saylor co-founded MicroStrategy in 1989, and, in recent years, it became famous for owning more bitcoin than any other publicly-traded company. Given the ongoing chaos in the crypto market and regulatory pressure, it's unclear how Saylor will use his new role to shake up the company's cryptocurrency strategy.

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