KEY POINTS

  • Michael Saylor co-founded MicroStrategy in 1989 
  • Saylor is considered a diamond hand in cryptocurrency market
  • MicroStrategy has 129,699 BTC purchased at around $4 billion

Michael Saylor, one of the biggest Bitcoin advocates in the world, is stepping down as the chief executive of the business-software company he founded, MicroStrategy, and taking on the role of executive chairman.

MicroStrategy announced Tuesday its president Phong Le will take over Saylor's role as CEO – a position the latter has held since he co-founded the company in 1989.

The announcement was made alongside MicroStrategy's latest earnings report, which showed the company's financial position for Q2 2022, including its non-cash digital impairment charge of $917.8 million.

Saylor will be the new executive chairman, and will stay as the chairman of the board of directors and an executive officer, while Le will keep his position as the company's president and also serve as its new CEO and as a board member.

"As Executive Chairman, I will be able to focus more on our bitcoin acquisition strategy and related bitcoin advocacy initiatives, while Phong will be empowered as CEO to manage overall corporate operations," Saylor said.

MicroStrategy said Saylor's new role will center on "innovation and long-term corporate strategy while continuing to provide oversight of the Company’s bitcoin acquisition strategy."

Bitcoin is Digital Energy - Michael Saylor at the MIT Bitcoin Expo 2-18 screenshot
Thirty-five years after graduating with the highest honors, Michael Saylor returns to his alma mater to headline the MIT Bitcoin Expo YouTube Screenshot/MicroStrategy Official YouTube Channel

The business-software company reported a $122.1 million revenue and losses amounting to $918.1 million in the quarter, 99% of which or $917.8 was due to the company's Bitcoin holdings.

The impairment charge connoted a sharp dive in the recoverable value of a certain asset, which in the case of MicroStrategy, is the loss in the value of Bitcoin from the time it was purchased compared to its current market price. Since August 2020, the company has purchased 129,699 BTC at an average price of $30,6644 per coin or $4 billion.

When BTC hit its all-time high price of $68,000 per coin in November 2021, MicroStrategy's total Bitcoin holdings were approximately $8 billion, but at its current value of around $23,000 per coin, its value is only about $2.9 billion.

"We anticipated Bitcoin volatility," Saylor said, adding, "Volatility means Bitcoin is more interesting, and so Microstrategy is more interesting."

Saylor, known in crypto Twitter as one of the few investors with diamond hands, noted, "Volatility is vitality."

The Bitcoin enthusiast also tweeted Tuesday that "since @MicroStrategy adopted a #Bitcoin Strategy, its enterprise value is up +730% (+$5 billion) and $MSTR is up +123%."

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