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Why Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Will Lose

It was the blog post heard from Napa to Lake Tahoe and all the other places Silicon Valley CEOs are hiding out from the smoke and Covid-19 these days. This week, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong published a post telling Coinbase employees to leave their social activism at the door. He followed up with a bold offer: If you don’t like it, we’ll pay you up to six months severance to quit. 

His treatise has been dissected and debated, with people including Jack Dorsey challenging the premise that a company, especially a crypto platform, can ignore social issues that deeply affect customers. The Information subscribers were pretty evenly divided. Personally, I mostly agree with Armstrong’s stance that a business has a mission that is distinct from individual social and political causes. But I don’t think the issue is as clear-cut as he makes it out to be.

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