After the announcement that Phong Le, the company's president and chief financial officer, would take over as CEO of MicroStrategy, sent shockwaves across the Bitcoin community, Michael Saylor defended his decision in a number of interviews with major media sites.
A Chief Executive Officer's responsibility "is basically to run a software firm," according to Saylor, who made this statement in an August 3 interview with Yahoo Finance Live.
He claims that the decision to appoint Phong Le as CEO was made when the business grew to 2,200 staff members and thousands of clients:
“We’ve been working on a succession plan with him for about four years, making him first the Chief Operating Officer and then President about two years ago.”
According to Saylor, MicroStrategy "entered into a Bitcoin strategy, our balance sheet swelled by billions and billions of dollars, and we decided that the best thing for the business is to bring in a full-time CFO," Andrew Kang, who was appointed in May 2022. During this time, Phong was serving as the company's President as well as its CFO.
The now-retired MicroStrategy CEO further claimed that this was the impetus that enabled the business to "elevate Phong to be President and CEO, and I have been wishing to assume the job of Executive Chairman - thus this is my decision many years in the making."
In describing his future role as the Executive Chairman, Saylor insisted that he was going to remain involved with the business:
“Many people don’t realize I’m the controlling shareholder of the company, so I’m the Chair of the Board. I’ll remain the Chair of the Investments Committee that oversees our Bitcoin acquisition strategy, and my primary role will be advocacy education and innovation, working on technology leadership opportunities."
Phong Le, on the other hand, "will manage the day-to-day operations with the assistance of Andrew, our new CFO."
Furthermore, Saylor stated that he thought Phong Le was "a really strong operating executive" and that "he'll be even better as President and CEO" in an interview with Fox Business' Charles V. Payne.
Recall that in January, MicroStrategy's former CFO Phong emphasized his company's decision to acquire and retain Bitcoin despite the market's turbulence, saying, "So to the extent we have excess cash flows, or we find other methods to raise money, we continue to invest it into Bitcoin."
aylor's resignation, according to "The Black Swan" author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, was yet another "nail in the coffin" for the business's decision to not sell Bitcoin.
Taleb further asserted that the current management shift may have additional significance since, as Finbold had previously noted, "you don't get arbitrarily reassigned" in a business in the financial sector.