Bitcoin permabull Michael Saylor has stepped down from his role as chief executive at MicroStrategy, a business intelligence firm he founded 23 years ago, to focus on his work in Bitcoin.
He joins Jack Dorsey, another tech billionaire who, since leaving Twitter, has shifted focus almost exclusively to Bitcoin:
All In on Bitcoin
In MicroStrategy’s Q2 results presentation, the company announced that Saylor would step down from his role as CEO but would assume a new role as executive chairman. The presentation made reference to the company’s bold treasury strategy, and identified the key role that Saylor would play going forward:
MicroStrategy became the first publicly traded company to adopt bitcoin, a revolutionary financial technology, as its primary treasury reserve asset. As Executive Chairman, Mr Saylor will focus primarily on innovation and long-term corporate strategy, while continuing to provide oversight of the company’s bitcoin acquisition strategy as head of the Board’s Investments Committee.MicroStrategy presentation
Saylor commented that splitting the roles of chairman and CEO would enable the company to better pursue its two corporate strategies, namely acquiring and holding bitcoin, and growing its enterprise analytics software business:
As Executive Chairman I will be able to focus more on our bitcoin acquisition strategy and related bitcoin advocacy initiatives, while [current president] Phong [Le] will be empowered as CEO to manage overall corporate operations.Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy, executive chairman
Company Continues to Make Positive Strides
Given that 2022 has been a bear market of “historic proportions”, it was inevitable that much of the focus would be on MicroStrategy’s macro strategy – to buy and hold bitcoin.
It’s little surprise then that one of the more notable elements of the Q2 results was a US$917.8 digital asset impairment charge, up significantly since US$170.1 million in Q1.
Since first purchasing bitcoin in August 2020, the company has acquired a total of 129,699 BTC at an average price of US$30,664 per coin, and has continued at an unrelenting pace, recently buying up another 421 BTC at just over US$20,000 apiece.
Naturally, mainstream financial media have been quick to criticise the strategy, particularly in relation to its leveraged position. Chief financial officer Andrew Kang, however, confirmed that 85,000 BTC were unpledged or unencumbered. “We have more than sufficient collateral for any price volatility,” he said.
Despite the company’s position being underwater, Saylor remains undeterred in his commitment, saying: “MicroStrategy is in a category of one; we are the largest corporate holder of bitcoin in the world. Our strategy is buy and hold for the long term, and that’s it.”
For those paying attention, this shouldn’t be a surprise. He made it clear in his interview with Laura Shin last year:
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