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How a memo made Coinbase into exactly what its CEO wanted to avoid - Business Insider

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There was some additional fallout from the incident in the immediate aftermath, too, with some employees choosing to leave Coinbase as a result, former employees told Business Insider.However, internal debate and disagreement had largely died down in the wake of the incident, sources said, and most people had returned to focusing on their work.Then on September 27, Armstrong circulated another memo.With less than two months before the presidential election, Armstrong declared that Coinbase would be a mission-focused company. Employees now expect more from their managers than a steady paycheck, and some managers like Armstrong are opting out of the added responsibility.Business Insider spoke to three former employees about their experience working at the cryptocurrency startup and what role politics played in the company culture."Coinbase has never been a company where there are constant distractions, activism, and people trying to politicize everything," said a former employee who accepted the severance package. The biggest change may still be to come.Last week, LJ Brock, Coinbase's chief people officer, went on the "Redefining HR" podcast to tease a new set of commitments around hiring focused on "making sure our talent practices are insanely fair." The goal is to expand "the top of our funnel in recruiting" and ensure "equitable outcomes from a compensation perspective," he said.While the resource group for employees of color didn't get everything they asked for, employees were "exhausted" by the recent turmoil, and the outcome "felt like a win," a former employee said.Then came Armstrong's post in September, explaining how he wanted the startup to be "laser focused on achieving its mission, because I believe that this is the way that we can have the biggest impact on the world."He also said that the company won't "engage" when it comes to "broader societal issues" nor would it advocate for political causes or candidates, and he hammered the point with a list of things the company would and would not do in support of its apolitical stance. What was meant to provide clarity on Coinbase's approach to political activism instead only confounded things, according to the former employee who took the severance package.Internally, additional meetings were held to provide more clarity around Armstrong's post, the source said.

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