Celsius Co-founder Dan Leon Resigns After Mashinsky’s Exit

Shlomi Daniel Leon and fellow co-founder Alex Mashinsky have left their top positions as Celsius battles bankruptcy


Alex Mashinsky, Celsius CEO; Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • Group tax director Lior Koren reportedly replaces Celsius’ chief strategy officer
  • Mashinsky’s resignation came after a committee believed his retention was “unacceptable”

Insolvent crypto lender Celsius has lost another of its top executives about a week after co-founder Alex Mashinsky stepped down as CEO.

Shlomi Daniel Leon, co-founder and chief strategy officer at the firm, called it quits this week, CNBC reported Tuesday, citing an internal memo. 

Leon will reportedly be replaced by Israel-based Lior Koren, group tax director at Celsius. Koren has worked at the firm for just over 18 months, according to his LinkedIn

Mashinsky’s resignation took place after a committee representing Celsius’ unsecured creditors called for his removal. They found that retaining him as CEO was “unacceptable” and that new leadership was vital, a court filing revealed. 

Hoboken, New Jersey-based Celsius filed for bankruptcy on July 13, moving to restructure the business after being forced to freeze withdrawals on its platform. 

Since then, the creditors’ committee has investigated Mashinsky and other insiders for their business decisions and whether they were aware of Celsius’ impending downfall. 

It isn’t clear yet whether Leon’s resignation is linked to the same investigation. Celsius didn’t return Blockworks’ request for comment by press time. 

The platform’s native token, CEL, collapsed more than 85% between May and mid-June, from around $2 to $0.283, as its liquidity issues came to light. CEL has since rebounded more than 350%, now trading for $1.34.

A court filing from Sept. 5 shows Leon owns 32,600 shares of Celsius’ common stock. 

Celsius co-founder exits less than two weeks before asset auction

Celsius user Tiffany Fong had earlier tweeted about co-founder Leon leaving. Fong previously shared a leaked recording of an all-hands meeting where Mashinsky outlined plans for the lender’s comeback. 

Much has been speculated about the financial behavior of the top executives. The Financial Times reported on Sunday that Mashinsky withdrew $10 million from Celsius just weeks before customer funds were frozen. 

Details about insider transactions will soon be submitted in court as part of the lender’s financial disclosures. The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 6. 

Celsius is currently accepting bids for its assets, with a final bid deadline set for Oct. 17. A sale hearing will be held on Nov, 1, a filing shows.

Fellow bankrupt lender Voyager auctioned its remaining assets last month, with Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX US securing the winning bid worth $1.422 billion.

Reports indicate Bankman-Fried is ready to do the same with Celsius. The crypto billionaire tweeted Sunday that his goal in buying up lenders’ assets is to pay fair market prices, with a mind to make users as whole as possible.

“If we were to get involved in Celsius, it would be the same,” Bankman-Fried wrote.

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