Crypto Exchange Platform Kraken Hires Its First Chief Marketing Officer

Crypto Exchange Platform Kraken Hires Its First Chief Marketing Officer



Cryptocurrency exchange platform Kraken has named

Gannett Co.

executive

Mayur Gupta

its first chief marketing officer as competition in the fast-growing category heats up.

Mr. Gupta had been chief marketing and strategy officer at publishing company Gannett since 2020, and before that held marketing leadership roles at meal-subscription company Freshly and audio streaming service

Spotify Technology SA

.

Kraken, part of Payward Inc., intends to increase its marketing following its release of a consumer app last year, said Jesse Powell, chief executive and co-founder. It previously focused on the customer experience as its primary means of attracting users since its founding in 2011, he said.

Cryptocurrency companies have been rapidly ramping up their marketing efforts, punctuated by the appearance of several in high-profile commercials during this year’s Super Bowl.

Coinbase Global Inc.

ran a 60-second Super Bowl ad showing a bouncing QR code, for example, and a Crypto.com commercial during the game starred LeBron James.

This year’s Super Bowl drew advertisers willing to pay up to $7 million for a 30-second spot. WSJ advertising editor Suzanne Vranica and reporter Paul Vigna break down what to watch for from both new cryptocurrency brands and old regulars like Budweiser. Photo Illustration: Alexander Hotz/WSJ

Mr. Gupta said he plans on using marketing to increase understanding of cryptocurrencies among consumers and drive Kraken’s growth in the process. He also plans to help Kraken develop emotional and cultural connections with consumers and clients such as individual investors, drawing on his experience at subscription-driven businesses where such relationships were important, he added.

“We are not in a race to be the loudest voice,” Mr. Gupta said.

Several other crypto exchanges have also hired CMOs in recent months. Coinbase hired Kate Rouch, previously an executive at

Meta Platforms Inc.,

as its first CMO last August.

And Bittrex Inc. hired Paul Grier as CMO in January. Regulatory challenges have spurred the adoption of CMO roles across the crypto sector, Bittrex Chief Executive Stephen Stonberg said.

“The role of the CMO is invaluable at helping speak to our customers,” Mr. Stonberg said. “They need to make our industry complexities understandable to new retail investors, while making the experience familiar for institutions used to the traditional financial space.”

Kraken has received criticism from some for declining to shut down all Russian users’ accounts in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as for closing its headquarters in San Francisco, calling the city unsafe.

Kraken is monitoring the developments in Ukraine and Russia, and has acted in accordance with U.S. sanctions, the company said. Kraken has no plans to establish a new global headquarters, it said.

Those decisions reflect the company’s values around independence, transparency and security, values that are in line with what crypto represents, Mr. Gupta said.

“While marketing is going to be accountable for growth, it is going to be on top of purpose-driven efforts,” he said. “We won’t drive growth in the absence of that purpose, or the cost of our soul, which sometimes can happen in growth-stage startups.”

Write to Ann-Marie Alcántara at [email protected]

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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