Bitwise Industries’ board of directors announced they have fired co-CEO Jake Soberal and Irma Olguin Jr.
The announcement was made by an email sent by Ollen Douglass — listed as interim president and member of the company’s board of directors — to employees and contractors.
“Unfortunately, the non-management board and I, like many of you, are finding out that the picture the company consistently communicated orally and in presentations, was not an accurate picture of the company’s financial health. It is heartbreaking and disappointing on multiple levels,” Douglass wrote.
He then wrote that Soberal and Olguin “have been terminated.”
Douglass is a board advisor for the venture capitalist firm Motley Fool Ventures — listed as an investor during several rounds of funding Bitwise previously announced. He is based in Maryland.
Watch: GV Wire’s David Taub Interviews Bitwise co-CEO Jake Soberal
Bitwise furloughed a reported 900 employees on Monday, including 300 in Fresno.
The company has failed to pay its Fresno County property taxes on time, has not filed city business taxes since 2021, faces at least one lawsuit with more promised, among other financial problems revealed in the last two weeks.
Internal Investigation Underway
In a press released released through PRNewswire, the board “has begun an investigation into what led to these current circumstances and events and is engaging independent experts for support. In his role as Interim President, Douglass will oversee the investigation, drawing on his background in auditing and experience as a former chief financial officer.”
“It was an incredibly difficult decision to suspend operations at Bitwise Industries and furlough the hardworking team members,” Douglass said in the news release. “The Board of Directors was recently made aware of the company’s cash deficit by management and took immediate action as a result,” said Douglass.
“The Board of Directors is taking this matter very seriously. We are committed to determining the root cause and will continue to take swift action.”
In addition to advising Motley Fool, Douglass is the CEO of Hanover Street Advisors.