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Bitstamp appoints new CEO after Julian Sawyer’s sudden departure

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp announced on Monday that CEO Julian Sawyer has left the company and European chief executive JB Graftieaux has been promoted to replace him.

Sawyer, who has held the role for 18 months, has “decided to pursue other opportunities,” Bitstamp wrote in a statement on Monday, confirming reports from The Block on Saturday.

Graftieaux served as Bitstamp’s chief compliance officer from November 2014 to February 2016 before leaving to work for five years at eBay, according to his LinkedIn profile. He rejoined Bitstamp as CEO of Europe a year ago.

JB worked with Bitstamp in its early days and has led our European business admirably over the past year. We are delighted to welcome a CEO with such an impressive track record, and look forward to the contributions and perspective he will bring to the company in his new role,” said Nicolas Huss, Bitstamp’s chairman said in the statement.

Just last month, Sawyer sat down with The Block for an interview at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami, where he outlined his grand development plans. The company is defining its future with solid customer service and reliability, he explained, as it targets an “underserved” audience including women and older investors.

Bitstamp, which was acquired by private equity firm NXMH in 2018, controls only about 2% of the crypto-fiat spot market, compared with about 27% for Coinbase.