Founder and CEO of crypto custodian Fortress Trust, Scott Purcell, has stepped down from his position nearly a month after major blockchain firm Ripple canceled its proposed acquisition of the company.

Fortress also reportedly reduced its workforce after suffering a previous hack incident.

Fortress CEO Leaves Company

Scott Purcell has resigned from his CEO position at Fortress, according to Fortune, which said that the former chief confirmed his departure from the company. Based on his LinkedIn profile, Purcell served at Fortress for two years plus, ending in October 2023, while going ahead to found a new startup this month.

Following Purcell’s departure, the former COO of crypto individual retirement account (IRA) platform iTrustCapital, Rich Hauschild, will serve as the new CEO. Meanwhile, the former chief will remain a member of the board of Fortress Trust’s parent company, Fortress Blockchain Technologies.

Apart from the CEO’s resignation, Fortress also carried out some layoffs, reportedly letting go of at least six employees, most of them from the sales department. Meanwhile, neither Fortress Trust nor its parent company have made a statement concerning Purcell stepping down or company layoffs.

The Relationship Between Ripple and Fortress

The latest development comes shortly after Ripple announced that it would no longer proceed with acquiring Fortress Trust. As previously reported by CryptoPotato, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said that his company was terminating a planned acquisition of the crypto custodian, contrary to a previous agreement.

While Garlinghouse did not state a reason for Ripple’s change of heart, the CEO said at the time that the blockchain firm would remain an investor in Fortress Blockchain Technologies.

Before the failed acquisition deal, one of Fortress’s partners suffered a security breach, affecting four clients. The hack resulted in a loss between $12 million and $15 million worth of bitcoin and stablecoins USDT and USDC.

Ripple later stepped in to make the affected accounts whole, with Purcell stating that the blockchain company gave Fortress $15 million to help with the losses, according to Bloomberg. The former CEO also said that Fortress will make a refund to Ripple, possibly when the firm gets the money from the hacked third-party vendor.


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