Comings and goings

One of a handful of big enterprise blockchain providers, DA has seen a steady exodus of executives since its iconic leader Blythe Masters suddenly departed the company last December.

Last month saw the departure of Gavin Wells, head of Europe, whose client-facing responsibilities were taken over by Oliver Hugh-Jones, head of business development for Europe.

Also in February, James Powell, CIO and CTO of engineering at Digital Asset, left the software company. Powell’s responsibilities at DA were assumed by Shaul Kfir, the CTO of architecture and a member of the founding team.

The 175-employee DA has also been hiring, however. Zohar Hod, a trading technology veteran, was brought in as its chief strategy officer, coinciding with Powell’s departure. Hod reports to co-founder and chief operating officer Yuval Rooz.

DA is busy replacing the ASX’s CHESS clearing and settlement system. Although the deadline for that project has been pushed back to early 2021, ASX told CoinDesk in an interview last year that Masters’ departure would not affect its timeline.

Digital Asset Loses Another Exec and a High-Profile Board Member
Enterprise blockchain builder Digital Asset has seen yet more departures.

First, Sofus Mortensen, product manager for DAML, DA’s open source smart contract programming language, has left the company. DAML or Digital Asset Modelling Language is an important part of DA’s strategy to spread its technology beyond the closed proprietary implementations the firm is working on with the likes of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Mortensen returned to the banking arena, joining Danske Bank, the largest bank in Denmark, as head of architecture and markets IT, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to spending almost two years with DA, he was a chief quant at another Nordic institution, Nordea for close to eight years.

In addition, Sallie L. Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, and one of the most notable women in financial services, has quietly left the board of DA. Her name was removed from the company’s website a few weeks ago.

Krawcheck joined the DA board almost exactly three years ago, saying at the time that distributed ledger technology (DLT) offered “a once in a generation opportunity to strengthen financial services as a whole.”

Neither executive responded to requests for comment by press time. DA declined to comment.

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