MicroStrategy CEO changes roles to help company buy more bitcoin

Michael Saylor, who led MicroStrategy, the enterprise software company he co-founded in 1989 to make a $4 billion investment in bitcoin, will step down as CEO, the company announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: Saylor will take on the role of executive chairman, while Phong Le, the president and the company’s current chief financial officer, will be the new CEO, effective Aug. 8.

Why it matters: Saylor has become a vocal supporter of the world’s largest digital asset since MicroStrategy announced it would start acquiring bitcoin on the company’s balance sheet in Aug. 2020.

  • He has also pushed for more publicly-traded companies to do the same.
  • But owning bitcoin on balance sheets is a risky proposition.

What they’re saying: Saylor said 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” in a statement.

Of note: The news of MicroStrategy’s executive transition eclipsed the company’s second-quarter earnings, which showed a net loss of more than $1 billion.

  • Total revenues declined 2.6% to $122.1 million from the year-ago period.
  • Net losses for the second quarter of 2022 were $1.06 billion, compared to $299.3 million in the year-ago period.
  • That in part was due to digital asset impairment charges of $917.8 million. (Read: it’s a paper loss)

Bottom line: MicroStrategy had cash and cash equivalents of $69.4 million, as of June 30, roughly $6 million more than what it had at the end of December.

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