Coinbase adds Cisco vet to board ahead of rumored IPO

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of cryptocurrency giant Coinbase, announced on Wednesday that the company would be adding Kelly Kramer to its board of directors.

Kramer, a longtime Silicon Valley executive, is currently the CFO of Cisco but is in the process of retiring from that role. She also sits on the board of Gilead Sciences and data company, Snowflake, a company that went public earlier this year.

Coinbase adding Kramer to its board comes as the company is reportedly planning to announce its own IPO. The year 2020 has been a bonanza for companies going public while Coinbase is currently riding high thanks to Bitcoin prices that just broke $20,000.

In another significant move, Armstrong announced that current board observer Marc Andreessen will be taking on the role of full board member. The move is another possible sign that a Coinbase IPO might be imminent given that Andreessen is one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent investors and has had a hand guiding the growth of numerous companies, including Facebook.

In a blog post announcing the changes, Armstrong noted that Kelly will be replacing Chris Dodds as the Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee, and that Dodds intends to spend more time on matters related to his family.

Wednesday’s announcement comes after Coinbase made another board shuffle in August, adding Andreessen and Gokul Rajaram, an executive at DoorDash and a veteran of Google and Square.

Since it was founded in 2013 as a place for non-technical people to buy Bitcoin, Coinbase has emerged as the pre-eminent cryptocurrency company. Insiders say the company, which earns commissions when customers trade, is flourishing thanks to a booming crypto market. But Coinbase has also endured recent tumult as a result of a controversial blog post by Armstrong declaring the company to be “apolitical” and from accusations of tacit racism by former Black employees.

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