Tezos President Johann Gevers Resigns

On Thursday, the Tezos Foundation announced the resignation of president Johann Gevers. The Swiss-based organization simultaneously declared the appointment of two new board members.

  • In a shakeup on February 22, 2018, the Tezos Foundation replaced its president and two of its board members.

    “To serve the best interests of the Tezos Project, Johann Gevers and Diego Olivier Fernandez Pons have voluntarily offered to resign from the Foundation Board,” the team wrote. The terms of their departures were not provided.

    As recently as January 2018, Gevers was locking horns with project creators Arthur and Kathleen Breitman in a financial dispute. This past weekend, at UCLA’s Cyber Days, Kathleen Breitman said that after the project’s successful initial coin offering (ICO), Gevers attempted to pay himself a large bonus, something which she and her husband, Arthur, adamantly opposed.

    Through its controversial “non-refundable donation” fundraiser, the Tezos Foundation acquired 65,703 BTC and 361,122 ETH. At current prices, this is equivalent to approximately $948 million.

    While the founders were embroiled in the bonus dispute, the project was disrupted. Even though the Breitmans controlled the Tezos technology through a Delaware corporation, the project’s funds were held by the Zug-based Tezos Foundation, led by Gevers. It’s not clear whether the launch has been hampered solely by financial constraints or also by development delays. Despite the conflict, on Sunday, Breitman said that her team plans to “go rogue” and launch Tezos in approximately four weeks.

    An added complication is that Tezos is the subject of multiple class-action lawsuits. Earlier this month, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding Tezos and it remains unclear whether the project is under investigation by the agency. There are US backers of the project, but whether Tezos falls under the SEC’s purview depends on whether the ICO is treated as a donation or a securities offering.

    Putting all this aside, it appears that the bad blood has subsided, at least internally. Today, Gevers applauded the Foundation’s compromise on Twitter.

    The Tezos Foundation shared that Ryan Jesperson, “who became a leading figure in the Tezos community in recent months” and previously served as COO of FinTech company Divvy, will replace Gevers as president. The team also appointed Jesperson and Michel Mauny to the board. Mauny is a senior researcher at the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation.

    “With the appointment of the two new members to the Board, the Foundation is preparing itself to assist in the timely launch of the Tezos network,” the team added.

    For now, there is a whole lot of cryptocurrency being controlled by the Tezos Foundation, and backers are still waiting for their Tezzies.

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