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August 2, 2022

Michael Saylor Steps Down As MicroStrategy

Michael Saylor, a Bitcoin (BTC) maximalist, has announced his resignation as chief executive officer of MicroStrategy, the business intelligence company he co-founded in 1989.

Saylor will assume the job of executive chair, while Phong Le will assume the role of CEO, MicroStrategy said in a Tuesday earnings report for the second quarter of 2022. The modifications are anticipated to take effect on August 8.

Michael Saylor said, “I think separating the responsibilities of Chairman and CEO would allow us to pursue our two company strategy of acquiring and holding Bitcoin and expanding our enterprise analytics software business more effectively.”

Le served as the chief financial officer of MicroStrategy from August 2015 to July 2019 before merging his duties with those of the company’s president until May 2022, when he assumed the latter position full-time. According to MicroStrategy, Le will continue to serve as president and CEO, “managing the day-to-day execution of the company’s business plans,” whilst Saylor will concentrate on “Bitcoin acquisition strategy and associated Bitcoin advocacy projects” as executive chair.

MicroStrategy reported holding more than 129,699 Bitcoins as of June 30, valued at approximately $2 billion after taking into account the company’s cumulative impairment losses, with total revenues for the second quarter of 2022 reaching $122.1 million, compared to $119.3 million for the first quarter. In June, the company revealed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had purchased 480 BTC for $10 million.

Saylor said that MicroStrategy will “continue to HODL through hardship” during the June market collapse, during which the price of Bitcoin plummeted below $18,000, adding that the company had braced for volatility and structured its balance sheet appropriately. According to the soon-to-be-former CEO, this method would enable MicroStrategy to post collateral even “if the price of BTC falls below $3,562” – a temporary occurrence during the March 2020 market crisis.

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Jefferies said on July 26 that it has downgraded MicroStrategy’s shares from hold to underperform, with a price objective of $180. MSTR shares were trading at $278.26 at the time of publishing, up more than 48 percent in the past 30 days.