Bitcoin Miner Riot Blockchain Names Jason Les CEO

Les has served as the board's director since 2017.

Feb 9, 2021 at 4:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:09 p.m. UTC

Nasdaq-listed mining company Riot Blockchain (RIOT) has named Jason Les as its new CEO after serving as as independent director on Riot's board since 2017.

  • In a statement, Les said Riot is "extremely well-positioned" to capitalize on the opportunities in bitcoin mining, given the company's "strong balance sheet" and "fleet of next-generation miners."
  • Indeed, Riot has been aggressively expanding its mining capacity and market value, passing $1 billion in late December 2020. The company now has a total market value of over $2.5 billion.
  • Les replaces Jeff McGonegal who has served as Riot's CFO since 2003, well before the company pivoted to bitcoin mining. Since 2019, McGonegal also held dual roles as CEO and CFO. With the appointment of Les, McGonegal will return to serving only as CFO.
  • Les will remain on Riot's board. The company also named Hannah Cho as a new independent board member.
  • Quarterly earnings for the mining company are expected by March 31.
  • Riot shares have gained over 140% already in 2021, currently trading just above $40. Bitcoin rallied roughly 50% over the same period.


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.