When Anthony Watson, erstwhile Barclays CIO, left Nike after just six months as its CIO, people were understandably confused. He was, after all, one of the 40 under 40, and seemed to be carving out quite a career for himself. Six months later, all is clear. With just a couple months under his belt at Bitcoin startup Bitreserve, he’s been elevated to CEO, relegating company founder Halsey Minor into the role of “chief visionary.” Ruler Of All Bitcoin cannot be far behind.
Bitreserve was the perfect combination of Watson’s passions and previous jobs: banking and tech. After leaving Nike, he had offers from big banks, but preferred to do something more entrepreneurial. “I was itching to make an impact,” Watson says. At Nike, he wasn’t doing enough to address that itch. He says he was convinced to join Bitreserve after just 10 minutes with the founder, Halsey Minor.
In addition, Bitreserve’s theme of financial inclusion—a bitcoin benefit that the cryptocurrency’s biggest flag-wavers love to talk up—fits perfectly with Watson’s ambitions of helping the unbanked and under-banked. “I’ve already worked for major companies,” he tells Fortune. “When I met with the Bitreserve team, it spoke to me on a social and equitable level. And it’s very rare you find opportunities like that.”
Former Nike exec is new CEO of Bitreserve [Fortune]
Former Nike CIO Anthony Watson Named CEO at Bitcoin Startup [WSJ CIO Journal blog]