In a January 25 blog post, Kraken, the popular US-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced the appointments of Gilles BianRosa and Marcus Hughes into its leadership team to improve its compliance department and position the firm for global expansion. Gilles BianRosa will join the leadership team as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Product Officer (COO/CPO). Marcus Hughes will serve as the Global Head of Regulatory Strategy as Kraken looks to advance product innovation and expand to new markets.
Before joining Kraken, Gilles was Chief Product Officer at European neobank N26. He also previously served in the same position at SoundCloud and will now try to utilize his experience leading product teams to advance expansion goals. On the other hand, Marcus Hughes is an ex-Coinbase Managing Director of European Business and General Counsel. The new Kraken compliance chief worked a decade at Morgan Stanley before his stint at Coinbase, making him one of the most experienced hires for his new role.
Who is Gilles BianRosa?
Gilles BianRosa is a Harvard alumnus with over two decades of experience building and scaling products for companies across North America and Europe. He co-founded Fan TV in 2010 and acted as its CEO until its acquisition by Tivo in 2010. After his exit from Fan TV, Gilles joined Samsung Electronics as Chief Product Officer, Content and Services, a role he maintained for over two years. During his stay at Samsung, he was responsible for the product portfolio of Samsung Smart TVs and related products in the smart home lineup.
He left Samsung towards the end of 2018 and was appointed Chief Product Officer of SoundCloud shortly after, spending two successful years in the company. Two years after he arrived at SoundCloud, he left again for N26 in March 2021, spending another two years as CPO at the popular neobank. He stepped down from his CPO role at N26 (last year) to join a US-based company. The US-based company would be Kraken, where he would lead the global strategy, global business operations, and product design departments.
Marcus Hughes is the Global Head of Regulatory Strategy at Kraken
Marcus Hughes is joining Kraken as the new Global Head of Regulatory Strategy. Also, he would work closely with the government affairs team to ensure ongoing compliance for all product offerings. Before Kraken, Marcus worked at Morgan Stanley for nearly a decade before joining Coinbase as its Lead Counsel for the European region. He quickly rose through the ranks at Coinbase, eventually leaving as the Managing Director (Europe) and General Counsel (international).
Marcus Hughes left Coinbase to become Chief Risk Officer at BitMEX, a position he held for 13 months before eventually joining Kraken as Global Head of Regulatory Strategy.
What the New Hires Bring to the Table
CPO Gilles BianRosa looks forward to bringing his decades of experience in product design and optimization to Kraken to help further the goal of launching new products in 2024. “I’m looking forward to working with teams across the company to build and deploy innovative products that expand access to crypto globally,” Kraken’s new CPO said in the statement announcing his appointment to the leadership team.
Similarly, Marcus Hughes will work with the existing compliance structure in the organization to ensure compliance with all products. He will also be responsible for ongoing engagements with global regulators as the company looks to break new ground in 2024.
Ripley-Kraken to Launch New Products, Enter New Markets
While announcing the new hires, David Ripley hinted at plans to enter new markets and improve its offerings in the new year, while ensuring the exchange is on the same page with global financial regulators. While it remains unclear what new products Kraken is planning to bring onto the market or what new markets the firm is venturing into, there is no doubt that a healthy bit of both will happen in 2024.
The cryptocurrency exchange has maintained its user base in a tough regulatory environment, signaling stability and growth in the new year. The recent high-profile hires point towards that.