Thiel will replace Merrick Okamoto, who will take on a role as the executive chairman of Marathon’s board after serving as CEO since 2017. Thiel has served on the publicly traded company’s board since 2018, when it was still known as Marathon Patent Group. The company name changed on March 1.
“The board of directors and I concluded that it was an appropriate time to adjust the responsibilities of our management team to be more in line with a company of our size. Therefore, going forward, I will be focusing my attention on my responsibilities as executive chairman of the board, while Fred Thiel will take the helm as CEO,” Okamoto said in a press release.
Before joining Marathon’s board, Thiel served as the CEO of Gamespy (which merged with IGN) and a number of software companies.
What began as a patent company for encryption software in the 2010s, Marathon Digital is now one of the larger bitcoin mining companies in North America. Marathon expects to have over 100,000 machines online by early next year. Okamoto said this would give the Marathon “10.37 exahashes per second” of mining power (bitcoin’s current hashrate is just under 160 exahashes per second.