Saylor gives up CEO role to focus on MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin strategy

By:
on Aug 3, 2022
  • MicroStrategy founder and CEO Michael Saylor will leave the chief executive's role to Phong Le.
  • Saylor says this allows him to focus on the company's Bitcoin strategy.
  • MicroStrategy holds 129,699 bitcoins, the largest BTC holdings by a publicly-listed company.

MicroStrategy Inc (NASDAQ: MSTR) co-founder Michael Saylor is set to step down as the company’s Chief Executive Officer, taking up the role of Executive Chairman beginning 8 August 2022.

Saylor, a prominent Bitcoin (BTC) bull, said in a statement that the move will allow the company to focus on its software and business intelligence business. 

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But more importantly to him, stepping down from the CEO post also allows them to focus on the company’s Bitcoin strategy.

Saylor to focus on Bitcoin strategy and advocacy

Apart from taking on the role of an Executive Chairman, Saylor will remain Chairman of the Board of Directors and also head MicroStrategy’s Investments Committee. It is in this latter role that he will offer investment oversight for the firm’s Bitcoin strategy, Saylor noted in the Q2 earnings results call on Tuesday.

My focus will be on our corporate strategy, our innovation efforts, our Bitcoin strategy and related Bitcoin advocacy and education initiatives, such as my work with the Bitcoin Mining Council. I will continue to act as an enthusiastic spokesperson for MicroStrategy and as our envoy to the Global Bitcoin community.”

In a press release, MicroStrategy said Saylor’s replacement as CEO will be Phong Le, the company’s President and former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO). The firm added that Le has been with MicroStrategy since 2015 and his new role as CEO will see him take charge of corporate strategies, as well as manage the company’s business operations.  

Largest corporate holder of Bitcoin

MicroStrategy first bought Bitcoin in August 2020, and is currently the largest corporate holder of BTC on its balance sheet with 129,699 bitcoins.

In its Q2 earnings report, the company said the “carrying value” of the total BTC holdings by 30 June 2022 was $1.988 billion, reflecting “cumulative impairment losses of $1.989 billion.” The figures relate to the total acquisition vis-à-vis the average carrying amount of roughly $15,326 per BTC.

MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin acquisition since 2020 had seen the firm spend $4 billion, with the average purchase price of 30,664 per BTC (including fees and expenses).

Even though Bitcoin’s decline over the past several months has critics and skeptics out, Saylor remains bullish and has pointed out that the flagship cryptocurrency has outperformed other assets in the time since his first bitcoin purchase.

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