It was the blog post heard from Napa to Lake Tahoe and all the other places Silicon Valley CEOs are hiding out from the smoke and Covid-19 these days. This week, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong published a post telling Coinbase employees to leave their social activism at the door. He followed up with a bold offer: If you don’t like it, we’ll pay you up to six months severance to quit.
His treatise has been dissected and debated, with people including Jack Dorsey challenging the premise that a company, especially a crypto platform, can ignore social issues that deeply affect customers. The Information subscribers were pretty evenly divided. Personally, I mostly agree with Armstrong’s stance that a business has a mission that is distinct from individual social and political causes. But I don’t think the issue is as clear-cut as he makes it out to be.