Lead engineer Mike Hearn departs enterprise blockchain firm R3 – Ledger Insights

Mike Hearn, well known as an early Bitcoin developer who exchanged emails with Satoshi Nakomoto, is leaving his full-time role at R3. However, the lead platform developer has not been working on the Corda enterprise blockchain for some time. 

For the last year or so, Hearn has focused on Conclave, R3’s confidential computing solution that went into production this week. Hence the timing of the announcement.

“Just like Corda’s technical leadership transitioned to a new cadre of leaders when Mike turned his attention to Conclave, the same is already in place for Conclave,” said CTO Richard Brown in an internal email. He also gave considerable credit to his colleague, saying, “It’s not an exaggeration to say that R3 is the firm it is today in large part because of Mike.”

Hearn is starting his own company but will remain an adviser to R3. The fact that R3 has managed to keep him for so long is quite an achievement.

“We all wanted this done right and care tremendously about the ongoing success of Corda and Conclave,” said Hearn. “So, these past few months, I worked in lockstep with our executive team to ensure a smooth transition to my new advisory role. As a result, Conclave launched on time to significant interest and anticipation, a new technical leadership team is in place to manage the product on a day-to-day basis, and I remain a part of the R3 brain trust.”

At R3’s CordaCon conference, CEO Dave Rutter liked to joke about being upstaged by his high profile employee. Unless he makes another famous hire, he won’t be concerned about that anymore.