Polygon Labs COO Michael Blank to step down as the company axes the exec role

Polygon Labs COO Michael Blank to step down as the company axes the exec role
People & culture
Polygon's outgoing COO Michael Blank Credit: Tim Craig
  • Last Thursday, the company announced on Slack that Michael Blank, chief operating officer at Polygon Labs for more than two years, will step down.
  • His departure comes almost three months after the company let go 60 employees, or 19% of its staff.
  • A Polygon Labs spokesperson confirmed Blank’s departure to DL News.

Michael Blank, chief operating officer at Polygon Labs since March 2022, is stepping down.

“The [chief operating officer] position is being eliminated,” a company spokesperson told DL News.

Marc Boiron, president at Polygon Labs, announced Blank’s departure on the company’s Slack last Thursday, according to the spokesperson. Blank will remain at the company, which supports the Polygon family of blockchains and related products, over the next few months as he transitions out of the role.

The elimination of Blank’s role comes almost three months after the company let go of 60 employees, approximately 19% of its staff, per a post from Boiron announcing the layoffs in February. It also follows a series of departures of key leaders at the company over the past year, including two co-founders, a former chief financial officer, and former president.

A spokesperson for Polygon Labs declined to comment further on its chief operating officer’s departure.

Blank, who oversaw both the operations of Polygon Labs as well as its business development unit, did not respond to a request for comment on LinkedIn.

Polygon’s problems

Polygon is among the most visible blockchains. The company behind the blockchain promoted tie-ups with Starbucks, Mastercard, Meta, Disney, and Reddit, as the market capitalisation of the blockchain’s native token, MATIC, peaked at almost $20 billion in December 2021, according to data from CoinGecko.

As the crypto market crashed, Polygon Labs showed signs of instability. In February 2023, it eliminated 20% of its staff, about 100 employees. Shortly afterwards, co-founder Anurag Arjun announced a plan to step away from the project.

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Then, former chief financial officer Young Ko, former president Ryan Wyatt, and co-founder Jayanti Kanani all announced plans to depart or step back from Polygon Labs.

Meanwhile, MATIC, which Polygon Labs plans to transition to a new cryptocurrency called POL, nosedived from its $20 billion high to a total market value of less than $5 billion in September, per CoinGecko.

MATIC price

Polygon Labs has since consolidated.

It spun off Polygon Ventures, its venture firm, into a separate company in December. It will also cleave off the team behind Polygon ID, a blockchain-based identity toolkit, over the next few months, as it looks to focus on its zero-knowledge technology — a cryptographic method that lets blockchains process more data more quickly.

Buoyed by the greater crypto resurgence, MATIC’s market value is now near $7 billion.

“The [f]ounders and I are proud of everyone for all the work you’ve done to adapt and rise to the challenge ahead,” wrote Boiron in the February post.

“However, to move as ambitiously and nimbly as possible where everyone is able to take ownership of what they’re doing, we must create an efficient surgical team, with significantly less bureaucracy.”