Coinbase is offering to pay employees who decide to leave the cryptocurrency company because it discourages employee activism and discusses political and social issues at work.
CEO Brian Armstrong told Coinbase staff in an email that the company would offer a severance package for anyone “who doesn’t feel comfortable in this direction.” The pay package is for four to six months, depending on how long the employee was in the company.
Armstrong said in the email, “Life is too short to work for a company you’re not excited about.” “Hopefully, this package helps create a win-win outcome for those who choose to opt out.”
The message came after Armstrong published a blog post explaining the company’s lack of engagement on social and political issues.
In particular, Armstrong stated that the company “will not debate reasons or political candidates internally,” and it will not engage when “unrelated to our core mission, because we believe that the effects are only of focus.” comes along.” The cryptocurrency company is “laser-focused” on the use of digital currencies, and on profits, Armstrong said.
The co-founder pointed to an “internal conflict” in Silicon Valley veterans like Google and Facebook that “engage in a wide variety of social activism, even unrelated to those that the company does.”
“While I think these efforts are well-intentioned, they both have the potential to destroy the value of most companies by distracting and creating internal divisions,” said Armstrong. “I believe that most employees do not want to work in these divisive environments.”
The approach differs from many Silicon Valley companies that have embraced social justice this year due to widespread opposition to racial injustice.
For example, this week Google announced a $ 310 million program to broaden diversity and include the company as part of a lawsuit settlement that alleges the company has taken serious complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination Not Taken. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook recently tightened restrictions on discussing internal and political issues on the company’s internal message boards, but stopped discouraging or banning them altogether.
Armstrong himself was vocal in the wake of George Floyd’s death, and tweeted his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I have decided to speak up. It is a shame that even in this day and age one needs to say, but racism, police brutality and disproportionate justice are disproportionately wrong, and we need all to eliminate them from society need work.” He said in a series of tweets.
Coinbase’s new policy immediately sparked debate on Twitter. Some, such as investor Paul Graham, praised the situation and predicted “the most successful companies will follow Coinbase’s lead.”
Others suggested that it would drive away technical talent and customers.
The San Francisco-based company is the largest US cryptocurrency trading platform. According to Pitchbook, it has raised more than $ 500 million in private funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and Tiger Global, at a valuation of $ 8 billion.