Michael Saylor is out as CEO of Microstrategy. What does this mean for the company and its Bitcoin strategy moving forward?
- Michael Saylor Out As CEO
- What This Means For Microstrategy
Michael Saylor Out As CEO
Michael Saylor really went “hmm what if we take this really volatile asset and buy a bunch on margin?” and an entire community heralded him as a hero
— Dr. Parik Patel, BA, CFA, ACCA Esq. (drpatel.eth) (@ParikPatelCFA) August 2, 2022
MicroStrategy (ticker symbol: MSTR) has appointed Phong Le as CEO. He replaces Michael Saylor, who also co-founded the business software firm back. Saylor will remain as chairman of the board and executive chairman.
“I believe that splitting the roles of Chairman and CEO will enable us to better pursue our two corporate strategies of acquiring and holding bitcoin and growing our enterprise analytics software business,” Saylor said. “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 had served as CEO since 1989. The company was a legit player in the business software realm, however, it was little discussed until Saylor began buying Bitcoin. The move at the time was unheard of for a publicly traded company.
The Bitcoin buys sent Microstrategy stock to the moon briefly (over $700 USD per share). MSTR is still trading in the $278 range after languishing in the $100s before its big Bitcoin buys.
What This Means For Microstrategy
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) August 2, 2022
As Saylor said in his statement, the move will allow the former CEO to continue and focus on his Bitcoin evangelism. It makes sense to a certain extent. Microstrategy’s Bitcoin investment is separate from its core business. Having Michael Saylor appearing on as many podcasts as he has must have had some effect on his ability to do the job.
But, despite the logic, there could be a different motivation. The move did come as the company had to report a massive impairment of $917 million USD. That, of course, are unrealized losses. However, the stock market is notoriously irrational and psychology-driven. A number as large as that, no matter the actual impact on the bottom line of the company, is enough to start questioning the CEO.
Nevertheless, the company appears well positioned to weather the current crypto climate — Bitcoin would have to fall below 4k to get a margin call. Also, the new CEO Le plans to continue buying Bitcoin with or without Saylor. So, if Bitcoin continues its ascent the company will be very well positioned in the future, regardless of what role Saylor is playing.
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