The Block reportedly laid off roughly 33% of its staff including interim CEO Bobby Moran in an effort to stabilize the platform following loans it received from Sam Bankman-Fried.
Larry Cermak, vice president of research at The Block, has announced that he will be taking the reins at the crypto and blockchain news website from interim chief executive officer Bobby Moran — the second change in leadership since reports surfaced that former CEO Mike McCaffrey financed the platform through loans from Alameda Research.
In a March 31 tweet, Cermak said he would be stepping up as CEO after roughly five years at the crypto news site. Axios also reported that The Block laid off roughly 33% of its staff — including Moran — in an effort to stabilize the platform following the controversial loans it received from former FTX and Alameda Research founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
“We are not immune to the contraction of the crypto market, and the economy more broadly,” the company reportedly said. “We grew too quickly to capitalize on a bull market in crypto. Now, we must shift our strategy and recalibrate our teams to align with the reality of the current market.”
In December 2022, Moran revealed that McCaffrey had used two loans totaling $27 million from Alameda in 2021 in his efforts to restructure the crypto news site. McCaffrey failed to disclose the loans to The Block’s leadership team, a move which led to his resignation as CEO. The Block’s editor-at-large Frank Chaparro, who previously referred to McCaffrey as “literal scum” who betrayed the platform’s staff, lauded Cermak’s advancement to CEO, saying the site was “returning to our crypto native roots”.
Cermak reportedly said he had received no direction from McCaffrey to cover stories about FTX or Bankman-Fried “in any particular way,” despite the platform’s financial ties. All of the news stories on the website include a disclaimer with details about the loans from SBF.
Since FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Nov. 11, many news outlets, lawmakers, and organizations reported financials ties to the defunct crypto exchange or directly to Bankman-Fried. The firm’s leadership announced in February that it planned to recover all political donations, reporting in March a research team had determined there had been roughly $25 million as of November 2022.