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OpenSea CFO steps down after 11 months in the job

The now-former CFO did not give a specific reason for his resignation but noted he will remain in an advisory capacity with OpenSea.

The chief financial officer of NFT marketplace OpenSea, Brian Roberts, has become the latest high-profile Web3 executive to step down amid the bear market, resigning from his position after only 11 months in the role. 

In an Oct. 7 post on LinkedIn, the former CFO of ride-share platform Lyft and OpenSea said it was time for him to “come ashore” from the “open seas,” but didn’t state his exact reasons for leaving, though he noted he would be staying on as an advisor to the company moving forward. 

Roberts was appointed as the OpenSea CFO in 2021 after working at Lyft for seven years. He also has had previous stints in corporate roles at U.S. retail giant Walmart and technology company Mircosoft.

Roberts was among a long line of tech veterans who jumped to Web3 over the last few years, including Google’s former vice president Surojit Chatterjee who became Coinbase’s chief product officer in 2020, and Amazon’s Pravjit Tiwana, who became chief technology officer of Gemini in Jan 2022.

One of his core responsibilities during his time at OpenSea was to grow the finance team. In his Linkedin post, Roberts noted:

“I had the rare opportunity to build a team literally from the ground up and handpicked game changers.”

According to his statement, he has been working closely with CEO Devin Finzer and VP of Strategic Finance Justin Jow to ensure a “smooth transition,” possibly indicating that Jow will step up and take over the newly vacant CFO role. 

Despite his exit from the CFO role, Roberts maintains he is still “incredibly bullish on web3.”

Notably, Roberts’ departure came on the same day another OpenSea executive announced his resignation. 

In an Oct.7 LinkedIn post, Ryan Foutty, Vice President of Business Development of OpenSea also announced his departure after 18 months at the NFT firm.

Foutty said the company had come a long way since working out of co-founder Alex Atallah’s basement and wished his “crewmates” well. 

Both Roberts and Foutty are just the latest crypto executives to step down or take on advisory roles amid the market downturn.

NFT trading volume has plunged 98% from the $6.2 billion witnessed around the end of Jan to $114.4 million. 

The NFT marketplace has suffered setbacks as well, including cutting down 20% of its staff in July, and significant plunges in daily trading volume.

The whole market took a sharp fall off a cliff in May with the start of an ongoing crypto bear market. 

Other high-profile executives announcing departure from their firms include FTX US president Brett Harrison, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, and MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, and Genesis Trading CEO Michael Moro.

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