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Crypto exchange platform Kraken is hiring its first chief marketing officer

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Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has named Gannett co

Managing Director Mayur Gupta is appointed as the company’s first Chief Marketing Officer as competition intensifies in the fast-growing category.

Mr. Gupta has been the chief marketing and strategy officer at publishing company Gannett since 2020 and previously held marketing leadership positions at meal subscription company Freshly and audio streaming service Spotify Technology SA

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Kraken, part of Payward Inc., intends to step up its marketing after releasing a consumer app last year, said Jesse Powell, chief executive and co-founder. Previously, since its inception in 2011, it has focused on customer experience as its primary means of attracting users, he said.

Cryptocurrency companies have quickly ramped up their marketing efforts, punctuated by the appearance of several high-profile commercials during this year’s Super Bowl. Coinbase Global inc

ran a 60-second Super Bowl ad that featured a bouncing QR code and a Crypto.com commercial starring LeBron James during the game.

This year’s Super Bowl attracted advertisers willing to pay up to $7 million for a 30-second spot. WSJ Ad Editor Suzanne Vranica and reporter Paul Vigna explain what to look for in new cryptocurrency brands and old regulars like Budweiser. Photo illustration: Alexander Hotz/WSJ

Mr Gupta said he plans to use marketing to increase consumer understanding of cryptocurrencies, fueling Kraken’s growth in the process. He also plans to help Kraken build emotional and cultural connections with consumers and customers such as individual investors, drawing on his experience in subscription-driven companies where such relationships were important, he added.

“We are not in a race to be the loudest voice,” Mr Gupta said.

Several other crypto exchanges have also hired CMOs in recent months. Coinbase hired Kate Rouch, previously an executive at Meta Platforms inc,

as the first CMO last August.

And Bittrex Inc. hired Paul Grier as CMO in January. Regulatory challenges have spurred the adoption of CMO roles across the crypto sector, said Bittrex chief executive Stephen Stonberg.

“The CMO’s role is invaluable when it comes to speaking to our customers,” said Mr. Stonberg. “They need to make our industry complexities understandable to new retail investors while also making the experience familiar to institutions used to the traditional financial space.”

Kraken has been criticized by some for refusing to shut down all Russian user accounts after invading the country in Ukraine and for closing its headquarters in San Francisco, calling the city unsafe.

Kraken is monitoring developments in Ukraine and Russia and has acted in accordance with US sanctions, the company said. Kraken has no plans to set up a new global headquarters, it said.

Those decisions reflect the company’s values ​​of independence, transparency and security, values ​​that align with what crypto represents, Mr. Gupta said.

“While marketing will be responsible for growth, it will predominate over targeted efforts,” he said. “We will not drive growth if that purpose is lacking, or the cost of our soul, which can sometimes happen with growth-stage startups.”

write to Ann-Marie Alcántara at ann-marie.alcantara@wsj.com

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/crypto-exchange-platform-kraken-hires-its-first-chief-marketing-officer-11650362400?mod=pls_whats_news_us_business_f Crypto exchange platform Kraken is hiring its first chief marketing officer

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