Bitcoin Bull Michael Saylor Resigns as MicroStrategy CEO

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KEY POINTS

  • It was disclosed during its second-quarter earnings call on Tuesday that MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor will step down from that post. Saylor will continue as executive chairman of the board, while President Phong Le will assume CEO duties on Aug. 8.
  • MicroStrategy reported a loss of more than $917 million, which was largely a result of the 59% decline in the price of Bitcoin since the crypto's price peak last November.
  • Under Saylor's leadership, MicroStrategy spent about $3 billion since 2020 to buy 129,699 Bitcoin. According to the company, losses on that asset have pushed its holding value to $1.98 billion as of June 30.
  • Both Bitcoin and MicroStrategy's stock are trading higher on the news.


Saylor will remain with the company he founded as executive chairman, despite a $917 million loss MicroStrategy incurred resulting from Saylor's $3 billion Bitcoin-buying spree.

During its second-quarter earnings call yesterday, publicly traded business intelligence company MicroStrategy announced that its founder and CEO, Michael Saylor, would transition from that role to become executive chairman of the company's board effective Aug. 8. At that time, the CEO responsibilities will be assumed by current company president, Phong Le.

"I believe that splitting the roles of Chairman and CEO will enable us to better pursue our two corporate strategies of acquiring and holding bitcoin and growing our 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 Phong will be empowered as CEO to manage overall corporate operations" quoted Saylor in the official announcement.

For years, Saylor has been a vocal and ardent Bitcoin bull. Under his leadership and direction, MicroStrategy spent about $3 billion since 2020 to acquire 129,699 Bitcoin. That Bitcoin-buying binge ultimately made MicroStrategy the single largest publicly traded holder of that crypto asset.

"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" the announcement further stated.

Saylor pays an additional price for his corporate Bitcoin buying

Unfortunately for Saylor, his hyperfocus on Bitcoin has bitten his company in the balance sheet. As articulated in its corporate press release and regulatory filings, MicroStrategy incurred a "digital asset impairment charge" -- also known as a loss -- of $917.8 million to its largest digital asset holding, which is Bitcoin. That asset loss is due largely to the nearly 60% decline in the price of that specific crypto from its nearly $69,000 all-time high per coin hit last November.

At the time of writing, MicroStrategy's stock (Nasdaq: MSTR) was trading up almost 16% according to Yahoo! Finance, while Bitcoin's price was also up almost 3% across cryptocurrency exchanges, according to CoinMarketCap.

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