Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein To Step Down In Leadership Shake-Up

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein To Step Down In Leadership Shake-Up

A seismic shake-up in Grayscale’s top leadership has occurred. CEO Michael Sonnenshein stepped down after a decade of leadership. Starting on August 15, Peter Mintzberg of Goldman Sachs will succeed Sonnenshein.

Grayscale Appoints TradFi Veteran As New CEO

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein has departed from his role to “pursue other interests.” Sonnenshein joined Grayscale in 2014 as an account executive and became CEO in 2021.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work alongside such smart, passionate people to grow Grayscale into an industry titan over the last decade,” Sonnenshein said in a company release. “I would like to thank Barry Silbert for his vision and partnership and for entrusting me to lead Grayscale’s business. The crypto asset class is at an important inflection point and this is the right moment for a smooth transition.”

I leave @Grayscale with deep gratitude for everyone who has been on this incredible rocket ship journey. @BarrySilbert, thank you for taking a bet on me and for your partnership these last 10 years. To the Grayscale Leadership Team – thank you for your dedication, loyalty, and…

— Sonnenshein (@Sonnenshein) May 20, 2024

Peter Mintzberg will serve as the company’s chief executive officer on August 15, 2024, and will join Grayscale’s board of directors. Before joining Grayscale, Mintzberg served as Goldman Sachs’ global head of strategy for asset and wealth management. He has over 20 years of experience in the traditional finance sector, having previously worked at prominent investment firms, including BlackRock, OppenheimerFunds, and Invesco.

Speaking on Sonnenshein’s departure, Barry Silbert, CEO of Grayscale’s parent company, Digital Currency Group stated:

“I want to thank Sonnenshein during his 10 years at Grayscale. Michael guided the firm through exponential growth and oversaw its pivotal role in bringing spot bitcoins ETFs to the market, leading the way for the broader financial industry. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Grayscale’s Spot ETF

In mid-January, Grayscale was one of 11 companies to finally get a regulatory green light from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to list spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States. The firm had sued the SEC over the agency’s frequent denials to allow it to transform its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), then a closed-end fund, into an ETF.

Grayscale’s GBTC is currently the largest BTC ETF with $19.37 billion of assets under management. Notably, GBTC hemorrhaged over $15 billion in three months as the company held fees higher than its rivals. However, Grayscale started witnessing inflows in early May, snapping a 78-day streak of outflows.

Bloomberg’s senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas described the CEO switch as a “big shakeup at Grayscale,” adding that “they were just beginning to see inflows again too! Curious the story behind this.”

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