Staff departures appear to be picking up at the world’s largest peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing network BitTorrent after a publicized takeover in July by blockchain company TRON.
BitTorrent was acquired for USD 140 million by TRON, a blockchain-based entertainment content sharing platform that also utilizes P2P network technology.
Inventor’s quiet departure
In late July, a BitTorrent blog post announced the TRON acquisition. The coupling appeared to be a match made in heaven, especially according to TRON founder Justin Sun who at the time wrote a letter to the community, giving high praise to BitTorrent as being the “genesis of the decentralization movement”.
He added, “The BitTorrent acquisition embodies TRON’s “All-In Decentralization” strategy. TRON and BitTorrent share the same vision for a decentralized Web.”
In under a month, internal affairs that appear to be related to the acquisition are causing quite a stir. On 19 August 19, TorrentFreak exchanged emails with BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen, who confirmed he had stepped away from TRON and BitTorrent.
His resignation had come in a quiet fashion, causing speculation of whether or not Cohen had been forced out, or for another matter that all parties concerned would rather not announce.
Following this, recent headlines have reported further developments since Cohen’s exit and according to “multiple sources”, at least five employees have left the company. According to the source, those who left were positioned in management positions and were key players in their departments.
Reportedly, three employees quit outright and two were fired. The source indicated that the departures were in relation to the acquisition as well as the future plans for BitTorrent under TRON’s leadership.
Additionally, the source speculated that there could be more leaving if there wasn’t an 18-month lock-in period contracted for the senior management team. Accordingly, the chief executive officer, chief product officer, chief revenue officer and the chief financial officer can’t quit their roles until the end of their contracts.
Looking at BitTorrent’s company profile on LinkedIn, there are 35 positions open which indicate that TRON is expanding the approximately 49-strong staff at BitTorrent. Jobs posted include a number of senior titles such as Senior Director of Product Management and Senior Software Engineer, as well as many other software and marketing roles.
Sources claim that employees “fear” the expansion will cause a shift in the companies existing working culture; furthermore, these sources also cite TRON’s “marketing techniques and messaging” as other concerning factors.
A TRON representative told CoinDesk, “Tron is committed to the BitTorrent product and user community. We have been growing rapidly since the acquisition, as one family, to meet our vision for a decentralized future.”
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