Former BitMEX CEO Alexander Hoeptner has sued his former company for breach of contract and unwarranted termination reasons.
Alexander Hoeptner took over as CEO of derivatives exchange BitMEX in January 2021, replacing former CEO Authur Hayes, at a time when BitMEX executives were caught up in a "legal storm" with allegations of anti-money laundering (AML) violations from the CFTC and the US Department of Justice.
By October 2022, it appeared that Mr. Hoeptner resigned as CEO after less than 2 years of working. BitMEX confirmed and thanked him for his dedication, but did not include a reason for the breakup.
However, on 19/12, Alexander Hoeptner decided to sue BitMEX. The former CEO revealed he had been terminated with an incriminating letter, accusing him of "misusing funds" and "failing to fulfill the responsibilities of a CEO". In his court filing, Hoeptner said he was "unresponsive" and that such termination was unwarranted and unfounded.
Hoeptner also claimed BitMEX owed him a total of $3.4 million, including $2.4 million for second-year bonuses, and the rest included salaries, relocation and housing costs, requiring the exchange to pay the amount.
The reason for the money is that Mr. Hoeptner has relocated several times during his time as CEO of BitMEX and allocated his time in Hong Kong, Germany and Singapore. However, in July 2022, he was told that he would likely not receive a second-year bonus and any reimbursement for the relocation, citing a "restructuring program" that resulted in sweeping cost cuts.
Commenting on his decision to sue, Hoeptner said:
"At the direction of the founders and the board, I took a break from my personal and family life to continue managing operations in Singapore and Hong Kong. I'm disappointed that I got to the point where legal proceedings were needed, but I had no choice."
According to records, the cost of living and moving for his job at the time amounted to $230,000. A few weeks later, however, he received a termination letter. This came as a surprise and pushed the former CEO's discontent up.
Alexander Hoeptner added:
"We've made tremendous progress, reached every milestone we've set, which makes the reason they terminated me all the more puzzling."
BitMEX representatives said they could not be reached for comment because there were many issues to deal with first, but maintained their opposition to Hoeptner's actions.
In early October, BitMEX cut its workforce by 30% in an effort to return to its original focus on derivatives trading. BitMEX recently began offering users the ability to self-verify their assets, responding to the Proof-of-Reverse trend following the FTX crash.
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