Bakkt CEO, Mike Blandina, has stepped down according to an announcement by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) on April 23. The Bakkt parent company said that he will be replaced by the current M&A VP, David Clifton as the interim CEO while Adam White will continue serving as the firm’s president.
Blandina who had been appointed as Bakkt’s CEO is set to pursue a new opportunity that was not detailed in the press release. A financial market veteran, Blandina’s previous work experiences include Google and PayPal. He had just replaced Sen. Kelly Loeffler who led Bakkt since its launch back in August 2019 up to December when she was appointed to the U.S congress as a junior senator for Georgia.
Clifton who is set to take on Blandina’s role is expected to increase Bakkt’s value through the integration of Bridge2 solutions, a loyalty reward initiative that the firm acquired earlier this year. The PR reads,
“In his interim role at Bakkt, Clifton will focus on completing the integration of Bridge2 Solutions, which Bakkt acquired earlier this year, while also driving forward Bakkt’s growth initiatives.”
Notably, Clifton has worked for the ICE since 2008 and when he joined the fortune 500 company. Some of his notable milestones within the firm include a leading role in ICE’s strategic deals such as NYSE Euronext acquisition back in 2013. He also led in Bakkt’s recent Bridge 2 solutions buy out; a position that has earned him the trust of ICE’s founder & CEO, Jeffrey Sprecher,
“David Clifton has been deeply engaged in many of our most important initiatives over the years and, after helping to lead the acquisition of Bridge2 to accelerate the rollout of Bakkt’s consumer application, I know he will provide outstanding leadership for Bakkt as its Interim CEO,”
This digital asset services provider aims to unlock the value of digital assets by creating a trustworthy ecosystem. Its regulated BTC futures that were recently launched in collaboration with the ICE have been lucrative to institutions looking to participate in the crypto market. Ideally, the platform runs a warehouse that acts as regulated custody to safeguard the digital assets held by investors.
Bakkt also completed a series B funding led by the ICE in March 2020 which saw them raise an additional $300 million capital. Some of these proceeds were allocated to the acquisition of Bridge2 solutions as Bakkt expands its footprint in loyalty reward programs,
“As part of that funding, Bakkt acquired Bridge2 Solutions, a provider to loyalty programs of 7 of the top 10 financial institutions and 2 of the largest U.S. airlines, in addition to supporting another 4,500 loyalty and incentive programs.”