Circle Co-Founder Sean Neville Steps Down as Co-CEO

Sean Neville, co-founder of Circle, is stepping down as co-CEO six years after founding the crypto trading and payments startup with Jeremy Allaire.

AccessTimeIconDec 5, 2019 at 12:46 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:46 a.m. UTC

Sean Neville, Circle's co-CEO, will be stepping down from his role at the end of the month.

Neville, who co-founded the Boston-based payments firm in 2014 with Jeremy Allaire, said in an email obtained by CoinDesk that he notified the company’s Board of Directors during a quarterly meeting. While he will transition out of his role as co-CEO, he will remain on the board as an independent director.

While Neville did not explicitly give a reason for his departure, he said in his email that the company’s recent sale of the Poloniex crypto exchange was one of several factors that made “the time appropriate for me to transition.”

As part of Circle’s board, Neville expects to continue working with CENTRE, the collaboration between Circle and Coinbase which is nominally the issuer of the USDC stablecoin. 

“I also expect to propel the mission forward through CENTRE and other new complementary paths that traverse worthwhile challenges in infrastructure, regulatory policy, economics, and product design,” he wrote. “As always, I remain stubbornly optimistic about our ability to devise and execute well-crafted things that improve our collective future.”

However, first Neville intends to take a sabbatical, though he did not provide a timeframe. 

Circle was founded as a peer-to-peer payments firm, and became the first company to receive a BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services in 2015.

The company acquired Poloniex in February 2018 for roughly $400 million. However, the company sold the exchange less than two years later to a group of investors which include Tron’s Justin Sun.Prior to the sale, Poloniex was experiencing headwinds, announcing in recent months that it would geofence certain digital assets away from U.S. consumers. Under its new ownership, the exchange does not intend to serve U.S. customers at all.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.