Jihan Wu to Step Down as CEO of Bitmain, Taking On Limited Role

China-based mining giant Bitmain has been experiencing major changes over the past few months, and now it seems that those changes have finally made their way to the company’s key figures. Reportedly, Bitmain’s two CEOs, Jihan Wu and Zhan Ketuan, will be stepping down from their current roles. Wang Haicho, who currently serves as Bitmain’s project engineering director, will fill the position.

A Change In Personnel

Rumors of Wu’s resignation have been ongoing for some time. In November, it was widely reported that Wu gave up his position as board director due to a reshuffle, although this news later turned out to be inaccurate. Then, at the end of December, Chinese news site Odaily reported that Wu was planning to leave his position as CEO. Now, weeks later, the South China Morning Post is affirming that Wu is indeed stepping down.

Bitmain itself has not confirmed that these changes are occurring, nor has it indicated what the changes will mean for the direction of the company. Wu and Zhan will apparently continue to serve as co-chairs of the company, and they will continue to participate in decision making. However, they will no longer be involved in Bitmain’s daily affairs.

What’s Behind the Change?

The exact cause of the change is also unknown. Wu and Zhan apparently “disagreed on certain issues,” but those particular issues are elusive. It seems likely that public perception of the company plays a role: over the past year, Bitmain has been the subject of countless controversies.

In particular, many have raised concerns over Bitmain’s questionable cash flow and astounding dominance over mining.  More recent events could also be the cause of changeover: of late, Bitmain has made a failed investment in Bitcoin Cash, executed large-scale layoffs, and shut down some of its operation centers. Naturally, many of these controversies have been pinned on Wu, who is the public face of the company.

The Decline of Mining

In any case, it seems that the troubled mining market is taking its toll on Bitmain: the company is significantly worse off than it was in October, when Bitmain was experiencing record-high revenues. Presumably, a new CEO will introduce a new approach for solving these matters, although it is not clear whether Wang Haicho is merely an interim CEO or a new figurehead for the company.

In more general terms, mining is undeniably being phased out by leading coins: Ethereum will soon transition to staking, and EOS never relied on mining to begin with. Although these facts do not directly affect Bitmain, which mainly deals with Bitcoin, the crypto mining market may become much less significant in the not-so-distant future.

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