Leaked Internal Bitmain Meeting Transcript Shows Mining Company’s Leadership Troubles
Bitmain is not having an easy time right now. A transcript of a staff meeting has recently surfaced online and it shows that there is a power struggle happening inside the largest mining rig manufacturer in the world.
The documents, which were obtained by the crypto media outlet Coindesk, show the co-founder Jihan Wu explaining why he abruptly ousted Micree Ketuan Zhan, the second co-founder of the firm.
Wu, previously had stepped down from his management role back in December 2018, came back as Bitmain’s chairman this week. One of his first actions was to notify Zhan that he would be dismissed from all his roles in the company. The reason for that, Wu believes, is that Zhan escalated a simple disagreement into a power struggle, so he had to act.
Both executives have “butted heads” since 2015, but the situation only became more tense this year, when Wu and other execs chose to lay people off. Zhan disagreed and took the decision to mid-level management executives, who sided with his opponents. After that, Zhan started to become bitter and has made several decisions that escalated the power struggle to the next level.
Wu said in Tuesday’s meeting:
“Everyone knows in 2018, the company spent unnecessary and hasty investment everywhere on research and development projects and hiring dozens and hundreds of people without a second thought. Everyone supported the layoffs.”
2019 has certainly not been a great year for Bitmain, as the market share of the company is declining while its rivals taking it. Canaan, InnoSilicon and WhatsMiner have all grown this year.
Wu accused the other co-founder of betting on “crazy ideas” like artificial intelligence and not being focused enough on the bread and butter of the company: mining equipment. Now that the conflicts did not seem to slow in their escalation, Wu made the decision to remove his old friend out of the way.
“Some said inside the company, I’m the one who handles business and Zhan handles technology. I want to ask, between Zhan and I, who really has a love for the technology? Zhan doesn’t love technology, he loves that feeling of fulfilling his endless desire for power. He doesn’t love technology, he loves vanity. Folks, we have no options but to keep Zhan away from this company.”