- Brian Roberts has exited the role of CFO at OpenSea after only 11 months on the job, according to a Saturday post on Roberts’ LinkedIn profile, which stated he will be staying with the company as an advisor.
- Roberts was among a string of executives who left larger companies to take on roles at crypto ventures last year. Roberts departed from his CFO seat at rideshare Lyft after seven years to join the New York-based non-fungible token marketplace in December 2021.
- Justin Jow, formerly OpenSea’s vice president, finance, will be moving up the ranks from his current position to take the CFO seat, according to Roberts’ post.
Last year, a wave of executives left companies like Alphabet’s Google, Amazon, Apple and other large tech companies to take on positions at small, startup cryptocurrency companies like OpenSea. Roberts held the top finance seat at Lyft from 2014 until 2021 before he decided to take the CFO position at the NFT marketplace company, which was founded in 2017.
Roberts was OpenSea’s first ever CFO, telling Bloomberg in December 2021 that he had not been “this excited about something in a very long time.” Now, Roberts wrote in his LinkedIn post, it is “time for him to come ashore from the open seas.”
OpenSea raised $300 million in its most recent Series C funding round with Paradigm and Coatue as lead investors. The company’s angel investors also include notable entrepreneurs like Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher, according to the company website.
Crypto startups saw record breaking funding amounts in the second quarter of 2021, with venture investors funneling more than $21 billion to the sector. In recent months, however, several cryptocurrency exchanges have declared bankruptcy — Voyager Digital and Celsius among them.
Financial heads for both companies also departed after short tenures, with Voyager CFO Ashwin Prithipaul departing after only five months in the role as the company moves to finalize Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Former Celsius CFO Rod Bolger left his position after a scant five months as well.