Bitfarms names new CEO amid Riot’s takeover attempt

The promotion of Ben Gagnon comes after Riot called a shareholder meeting to try to remove members of Bitfarms’ board


PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Bitfarms promoted its chief mining officer to chief executive officer as it wards off the possibility of being bought out while doing a strategic review of its next steps. 

The hire of Ben Gagnon to the CEO post is effective immediately, the Canada-based mining firm said Monday. 

The appointment comes after rival miner Riot Platforms offered to buy Bitfarms in April — a deal rejected by Bitfarms’ board. 

Riot has continued to acquire a larger portion of the miner’s stock. It also called for a meeting of Bitfarms shareholders last month in a bid to remove now-former CEO Nicolas Bonta and director Andrés Finkielsztain. 

Read more: Riot nominates directors for Bitfarms board as part of takeover saga 

The company launched a website Monday in an effort to highlight what it has previously called “poor corporate governance practices” at Bitfarms

Bitfarms has maintained that its directors “are committed to acting in the best interests of the company and all of its shareholders.” 

Its special committee of independent directors is currently conducting a “strategic alternatives review process to thoroughly evaluate all opportunities to maximize shareholder value,” a spokesperson noted. 

Gagnon joined Bitfarms in 2019, working as its director of business development. He later became the company’s mining operations director and chief mining officer, in 2020 and 2021, respectively. 

“We look forward to leveraging Ben’s insights and experience as the company works to expand and diversify the business into exciting and synergistic new areas, such as energy generation, heat recycling, energy trading and [high performance computing] for [AI],” Bonta, Bitfarms’ board chairman, said in a Monday release.

Read more: From BTC to HPC: Miners signal evolving focus after the halving

The shareholder meeting Riot called for has not yet occurred. The company nominated three people — John Delaney, Amy Freedman and Ralph Goehring — to serve on Bitfarms’ board. 

“As I look to the next four years and the company’s strategic path, I am encouraged by the tremendous potential ahead and am confident that we have the right team in place to execute our objectives,” Gagnon said in a statement.

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