Amid online rumors of internal strife amongst company leadership circles over long-term direction, ASIC hardware manufacturer Canaan Creative reportedly removed four executives from its listing last week.
Co-Chairman Kong Jianping, Non-Executive Director Sun Qifeng, Founder and CFO Li Jiaxuan, and Public Affairs Director Tu Songhua were removed from the publicly listed company’s registry according to changelog entries on July 6, 2020. The business registry now lists company CEO Nangeng Zhang as the organization’s sole director.
The registry still lists both Kong and Li as part of Canaan’s “core team.” Zhang was given the new official role of executive director and general manager, dropping the chairman title. Canaan added Meng Lu as the new supervisor.
Canaan has not commented publicly on the reasoning behind the abrupt change to the listing of these senior executives. Chinese media outlets were swift to point out the parallels between the internal power struggles at Canaan with the bitter infighting at rival Chinese hardware manufacturer Bitmain Technologies Ltd.
The latter has had no shortage of controversies as co-founders battle publicly over control of the company.
In both situations, the CEO removed a company founder from a public leadership position within the organization because of disputes over internal management and the company’s long-term strategy. This recent dust-up at Canaan follows reports from earlier this year in February when Xiangfu Liu resigned from his role as a board member over disputes with the firm’s strategy. Liu was one of the three co-founders of Canaan.
The company has yet to publicly file paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), acknowledging the management restructuring. The removal comes during a time where the company’s NASDAQ share price is down significantly since the BTC halving event.
If rumors are right, it might indicate Canaan’s CEO started to believe his own spin to the point he’s having trouble recognizing when some ideas aren’t good and shouldn’t be pursued. Power struggles often arises when leaders struggle to adapt when they encounter contradictory evidence. They then tend to ignore evidence that conflicts with their worldview and seek proof that agrees with it.
Whether this upheaval is a precursor to Canaan’s imminent meltdown or a hiccup as it rights itself towards a wise business strategy remains to be seen. If financial losses start to mount, it will reunite shareholders with their conscience forcing even more changes at the struggling hardware giant.
The block reward mining world is about to reset itself. Canaan would be wise to stay ahead of the curve.
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