Latest in Crypto Hiring: Napster Names CEO to Lead Web3 Journey

Ex-global head of music at Roblox seeks to help the long-running music streaming service connect artists and fans in new ways

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key takeaways

  • Former CEO of Brevan Howard US joins digital assets investment firm as an advisor
  • 21.co nabs former head of data engineering and business intelligence from Goldman Sachs

Music streaming service Napster hired the former global head of music at gaming platform Roblox as its CEO. 

Jon Vlassopulos will focus on Napster’s rebirth as a Web3 company after the business partnered with Algorand for its blockchain infrastructure and digital asset strategy. Napster also recently closed a funding round with investors including Algorand, Hivemind, SkyBridge Capital, Alumni Ventures, Borderless Capital and G20 Ventures. 

The executive joined Roblox in 2019 as the company sought to be the leader in building metaverse concert experiences. There, he formed strategic relationships with record labels, publishers, management companies, agencies, artists, brands and music startups. 

“With the advent of Web3 technology, we now have an unprecedented opportunity to connect artists and fans in new, innovative ways while also making the fan experience more fun and social and creating new revenue streams for artists,” Vlassopulos said in a statement.

Digital assets investment firm Hilbert Group added an ex-Brevan Howard US and Carlyle Group executive to its advisory board.

Bruce Terry will support Hilbert Capital, the company’s systematic crypto hedge fund. A former CEO of Brevan Howard US and a managing director at investment firm Carlyle Group, Terry spent the last six years as a president at James Alpha Management.

“The Hilbert investment team has spent the last six years developing digital asset trading algorithms, where we have gained experience in understanding the quirks of trading an emerging asset class like crypto,” Hilbert Capital CEO Richard Murray said in a statement. “As the market matures and institutional interest increases, Bruce’s experience will be immensely beneficial.” 

Prometheum, a digital asset trading and settlement platform, hired John Tornatore as its head of business development. 

Tornatore previously was director of global business development at Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Global Markets and more recently worked as chief operating officer of Small Exchange.

Crypto trading technology provider Talos appointed three executives to its leadership team as it seeks to continue expanding globally. 

Hillary Conley was named a business development director, while Frank van Zegveld and Matt Houston will work as head of sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and client success director, respectively. 

Conley previously spent five years at Gemini as a business development director and four years at Bloomberg working in various related roles. 

Van Zegveld, who is set to join Talos in October, formerly ran sales and business development globally at Solid Trading and Lucera Financial Infrastructures. 

Houston spent more than a decade working for Bloomberg enterprise trading solutions and also formerly worked at the Australian Securities Exchange and London Stock Exchange.

Two former executives at NFT-focused company Enjin have joined metaverse platform Passage as it seeks to close a private sale of its native token. 

Caleb Applegate, Enjin’s chief operating officer since June 2019, was named Passage’s CEO. Bryana Kortendick, formerly a vice president of operations and communications at Enjin, is set to be Passage’s chief of staff. 

The hires come as Passage seeks to close a $9.2 million private sale of its native PASG token. The platform will enter closed beta in early 2023 and seeks to publicly launch thereafter.

Passage Founder Lex Avellino said in a statement that Applegate’s background in creative efforts and blockchain thought leadership will be critical to the company’s growth. 

“This dual perspective is essential to building a platform that is both technically strong and has mass appeal,” Avellino added. “We need people like Caleb at the frontier if we want the metaverse to see mainstream adoption.”

21.co — the parent company of crypto ETP issuer 21Shares and token provider Amun — hired David Josse as its chief technology officer to expand the firm’s product suite.

London-based hedge fund Marshall Wace led 21.co’s $25 million funding round earlier this month, which gave the company a roughly $2 billion valuation. Executives told Blockworks at the time that the company has plans to expand to about a dozen regions.

21Shares last week added to its crypto winter product lineup with the launch of a Short Ethereum ETP and an Ethereum Core ETP.

Josse spent 10 years at Goldman Sachs, spending time as global head of data engineering and business intelligence for the company’s online bank Marcus. He was more recently chief technology officer for fintech company Symbridge. 

“I look forward to coupling my experiences in both traditional and digital financial arenas to drive the next wave of 21.co’s vision for the industry,” Josse said in a statement.

Router Protocol hired Mankena Venkatesh as its chief blockchain architect.

Venkatesh will lead the design, development and deployment of Router v2, which the company expects to spur “a paradigm shift” in cross-chain interoperability.

The new chief blockchain architect was formerly part of the core team at Injective and among the first employees at Polygon, where he built interoperability and scaling frameworks, as well as smart contracts.

David Jornod became the chief financial officer for the Cardano Foundation earlier this month, the organization revealed this week.

The Switzerland-based non-profit organization seeks to drive adoption of Cardano and bridge the gap between institutions, organizations, businesses and society.

Jornod joined the Cardano Foundation in April as a vice president of finance. Before that, he held roles at traditional finance companies including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and AIG Private Bank.


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