Near Foundation Cuts Staff by 40%, CEO Says Organization Is in Good Financial Health

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The NEAR Foundation recently said it has let go of 35 workers as part of a realignment exercise that sees it “focus on a narrower and higher-impact set of activities.” The foundation’s CEO insisted that the job cuts did not in any way indicate that his organization was facing financial challenges.

The NEAR Foundation’s Record-Breaking Year

The NEAR Foundation announced on Jan. 11 that it had cut its staff by approximately 40% as part of a realignment process that will see it “focus on a narrower and higher-impact set of activities.” Illia Polosukhin, the CEO of the Swiss-based nonprofit foundation, has however pledged to help the 35 employees find other opportunities in the Web3 industry.

According to his letter addressed to the NEAR community, the job cuts are coming off the back of what the CEO characterized as a successful 2023. Some of the successes achieved in the past year include the NEAR protocol becoming home to three top ten apps in Web3. In the same period, the NEAR protocol reportedly saw a record number of daily users.

However, despite these achievements, Polosukhin said a review of the NEAR Foundation’s activities showed that changes were needed to make the protocol even better. The CEO explained:

“During this process, we heard feedback that the Foundation has not always been as effective as it could be, sometimes moving too slowly and trying to do too many things at once. Following this review, we have decided to significantly consolidate the core Foundation team to focus on a narrower and higher-impact set of activities.”

Polosukhin, however, insisted that the job cuts did not in any way indicate that the foundation was facing financial challenges. To support this assertion, the CEO pointed to NEAR Foundation’s well-managed treasury which has over $285 million in fiat. In addition, it has 305 million NEAR coins worth over $1 billion and $70 million in investments and loans.

Meanwhile, Polosukhin’s letter revealed that most of the affected workers were from the marketing, business development, and community teams. However, the NEAR Protocol engineering team at Pagoda is set to continue operating as it has in the past.

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