Bitfarms announces new CEO, Riot launches campaign as corporate dispute escalates


Bitcoin miner Bitfarms has appointed new leadership, while Riot Platforms has launched a new campaign website as the corporate dispute between the companies continues.

According to a July 8 announcement, Bitfarms announced the appointment of Ben Gagnon as its new CEO. Gagnon was previously chief mining officer and has been at the company since 2019.

On the same day, Riot launched a new website in connection with its call for a special meeting of Bitfarms shareholders. In this meeting, which is yet to be scheduled, Riot seeks to reconstitute Bitfarms’ board of directors.

In a previous notice on June 24, Riot announced its nomination of three candidates for election to Bitfmars’ board — John Delaney, Amy Freedman, and Ralph Goehring. Riot also sought the removal or replacement of Nicolas Bonta and Andrés Finkielsztain. According to Riot, both executives “bear direct responsibility” for Bitfmars’ alleged governance issues.

Riot’s campaign website. Source: Riot Platforms

In response to a special meeting request, Bitfarms announced on June 27 that Fanny Philip had been appointed an independent board member.

Corporate tension unfolds

Riot’s public campaign is the most recent initiative in the ongoing dispute between the two companies.

In late May, Riot put forward a proposal to acquire Bitfarms at a substantial premium over its current market price. The proposal was rejected by Bitfarms’ board.

Riot then moved to acquire more shares of Bitfarms. By late June, the company had increased its stake to 14.9%. In response, Bitfarms disclosed a “poison pill” defense strategy that limits, but not completely avoids, Riot’s takeover.

According to the plan, shareholders with a 15% stake in Bitfarms’ shares by Sept. 20 could increase their stake to 20% without board approval.

Behind the fight for control over the company is the departure of former Bitfarms CEO Geoffrey Morphy, who stepped down in May after filing a lawsuit against the firm seeking $27 million in compensation for breach of contract, wrongful dismissal and damages.

Cointelegraph reached out to Bitfarms but did not receive an immediate response.

The companies are both publicly listed on the Nasdaq. Bitfarms (BITF) shares are trading at $2.68 at the time of writing, gaining 0.4% in the day and rising 16.5% over the past 30 days. Riot (RIOT) stocks traded at $9.43, down 2.2% on the day and declining 4.8% since last month.

Magazine: Longevity expert: AI will help us become ‘biologically immortal’ from 2030