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Coinbase loses 60 employees after CEO pledges apolitical culture

Roughly 60 Coinbase employees have resigned after CEO Brian Armstrong declared the company will have an ‘apolitical culture’. Yahoo Finance’s Dan Roberts shares the details.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: We talked recently about Coinbase, saying politics didn't have a place at its workplace, basically. And apparently, the employees did not like that.

DAN ROBERTS: Well, some didn't, Julie. And it depends if you think 5% is a big number or not. I think it's a significant number.

But the update just yesterday from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, who posted this memo nearly two weeks ago, the Sunday before last, saying he wants his company to be apolitical. We're not about to take a stance on social issues. We also don't want to be a place where employees debate politics or discuss them in the workplace.

He updated yesterday, some transparency from him saying that, since posting that memo, when they heard a little bit of squawking from employees, he then e-mailed the whole company offering a generous exit package for anyone who wants to leave if they didn't like his memo. He updated yesterday that 60 employees so far have left. That is 5% of employees. Sounds to me like a significant number. 60 employees leaving because of the CEO's memo on politics, or I guess lack of politics.

You know, my own take, Julie, was that this was almost a bit of a self-own. And that is, if you want to be a company that doesn't speak out on social issues, political issues, just don't then. But why post a memo to explicitly announce we're not going to do that? And of course, the answer is it was in response to an incident that happened reportedly at a company town hall where someone asked [INAUDIBLE] Black Lives Matter, and Brian Armstrong really didn't answer the question.

But you know, you almost just think that they could have just avoided this by not posting the memo and, you know, keep his hopes that the company not be political to himself.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah. It seems like a high number to me too, especially in this job market, Dan. Thanks for the update on that.