Coinbase CEO Warns Executives May Burn Out on Too Much Scrutiny
Coinbase Global Inc. Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong said he’s concerned U.S. business leaders will quit due to the scrutiny they face, making the comments hours after Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg publicly defended his company following a series of negative stories.
“I do worry that as companies get to be more successful, the number of attacks from press, politicians, and trolls on CEOs (and rounds of congressional testimony) makes the job not fun, and they leave from burnout,” Armstrong said in a Twitter thread early Wednesday.
“America could be losing some of its best talent from this, and it has some parallels to what is happening to successful CEOs in China,” he said. “You don’t get moved to house arrest in the U.S., but it is our own version it, putting something that gets too successful in its place.”
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Zuckerberg said in a note to employees on Tuesday, which was posted on his social media platform, that claims the company puts profit over user safety and well-being are untrue.
Two Senate hearings over the past week have focused on Facebook’s impact on teens and young children, including testimony from whistle-blower Frances Haugen, a former employee who has claimed her experience at the company and internal research showed it prioritized profit while stoking division.
Armstrong’s comments also come after his company faced its own scrutiny.
In a Twitter thread last month, he blasted the Securities and Exchange Commission after Coinbase -- the U.S.’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange -- received a warning that regulators planned to sue in relation to the launch of a new lending product.
He also came under criticism last year when he announced a clampdown on discussing politics and activism at work after staffers staged a walkout over Armstrong’s silence on the Black Lives Matter movement.
In his latest posts, Armstrong said every company should have scrutiny. But he said the strongest ways of improving business practices were consumer feedback and market competition.
“People vote with their wallet, choosing what to buy,” he said. “And the best way to keep flawed companies in check is to have new startups come disrupt them.”
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