Asiff Hirji is leaving Coinbase after 18 months on the job. The crypto exchange also announced that current executive Emilie Choi would take over as COO.
Cryptocurrency startup Coinbase has enlisted a former LinkedIn executive to spearhead its acquisition efforts.
Emilie Choi will serve as vice president of corporate and business development, according to a blog post published Monday. Having previously acted as LinkedIn’s vice president of corporate development, Choi’s new role will focus on bringing Coinbase to new markets, with an added emphasis on “world-class acquisition and partnership opportunities.”
Prior to working for LinkedIn, Choi worked for Warner Bros. Entertainment, working on the corporate development and digital business strategy initiatives. She also worked for Yahoo’s corporate development team.
In statements, the startup signaled the focus on potential acquisitions, highlighting Choi’s expertise in this area.
“In addition to her deep experience building and scaling at high-growth companies, Emilie’s reputation as an advocate for founders through every step of the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process makes her the perfect fit for Coinbase,” Asiff Hirji, president and COO wrote in the blog post, adding:
“As part of our vision to create an open financial system, we want to connect with entrepreneurs and teams around the world who are passionate about building innovation in the crypto space.”
Choi told Fortune that she views the mergers and acquisitions prospects in the cryptocurrency industry as akin to opportunities that Google had in the early 2000s.
“There were just a bunch of really interesting startups that helped Google take things to the next level,” she told the publication. “So it feels like that kind of an atmosphere. We’re seeing so much, so many interesting startups and entrepreneurs in the space…and Coinbase wants to capitalize on that.”
The addition of Choi to the Coinbase lineup is perhaps indicative of the exchange’s continued efforts to bolster its executive team. The company made another notable hire in late January when it tapped former Twitter executive Tina Bhatnagar to beef up its customer support team.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Coinbase.
Image via Coinbase blog.
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