FTX Proposes $4M Bonus Program as It Seeks to Retain Staff

The bankrupt crypto exchange wants to offer supplements up to 94% of salary to avoid sought-after coders quitting

AccessTimeIconMar 9, 2023 at 9:59 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2023 at 3:49 p.m. UTC
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Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX wants to introduce a $4 million bonus program to stop staff with key skills from quitting, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

Chief Executive Officer John J. Ray III, who took charge on Nov. 11 when the company filed for bankruptcy, wants to offer bonuses as much as 94% of salary to stop those with knowledge of programming or company accounting practices from quitting.

“Mr. Ray and the newly appointed executives require the knowledge and intensive support and efforts from the Debtors’ ongoing workforce,” said the filing. “These remaining employees and contractors have institutional knowledge and, in some cases, unique and specialized skillsets that would be difficult to replace and that are critical to the Debtors’ objectives in these cases.”

The plan will be discussed at a March 29 hearing in a Delaware bankruptcy court. Ray has previously bemoaned poor record-keeping at the company, and the company says it faces a “massive shortfall” as it attempts to return funds to creditors.

Bonuses between 17% and 94% will be in the best interest of the FTX group as it seeks to wind up affairs, the Tuesday document said. The overall package is capped at $4,027,204 and targets staff with key skills and knowledge, including programming languages such as Python, Rust and Flutter. No bonuses will be paid to directors or officers of the company, to founder Sam Bankman-Fried and his family, or to any staff believed to be engaged in wrongdoing, the document said.

In January, a New Jersey judge approved a $10 million staff retention program for bankrupt crypto company BlockFi.

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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.


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