Rob Jesudason, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA), has left the bank to join a blockchain company, the Sydney Morning Herald reports May 14. Jesudason resigned with immediate effect in order to become the group president and chief operating officer of blockchain software firm Block.one.
Block.one is the developer of the ‘EOS.IS’ blockchain software, an operating system-like platform that aims to support the creation of decentralized apps on an industrial scale. The firm launched an initial coin offering (ICO) in June 2017 to issue its ECR-20-compatible ‘EOS’ tokens, which are scheduled to be distributed incrementally over a 341-day period until July 2018. At $12 bln, EOS is the fifth largest crypto asset by market capitalization.
CEO of Block.one Brendan Blumer said that Jesudason’s skills are an “ideal fit” for the company, underscoring Jesaudson’s track record in “facilitating regulatory advancement” for emerging technologies.
According to the Morning Herald, Jesuadson’s resignation – after less than a year in the role – comes at a difficult time for CBA. The bank is facing “explosive” allegations that it has consistently breached anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorism financing laws, and the disarray has left six of its 12 senior leadership positions empty. Reuters further reports that CBA is part of an ongoing independent inquiry that has leveled accusations of widespread misconduct against several of Australia’s leading financial institutions.
CLSA banking analyst Brian Johnson said that Jesudason’s departure in the midst of CBA’s tumult has “surprised” the Australian markets. This year has increasingly seen prominent traditional financial sector talent move into the cryptocurrency space. In April, a former Goldman Sachs executive joined as COO of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, itself founded by former Wall Street exec Mike Novogratz. That same month, the lead of JP Morgan’s blockchain arm left the bank to start her own independent venture.