On Dec 10, 2020, the IOTA Foundation parted ways with co-founder David Sønstebø in a decision that may surprise many community members.
According to the official announcement, the Supervisory Board made the unanimous decision to drop Sønstebø, citing that the co-founder’s interests had “diverged significantly” from those of the project.
The Foundation was vague about the exact reasons for David Sønstebø’s dismissal. However, they stated that the difficult decision to drop him from the project was “in the best interest’’ of its ecosystem.
In an addendum to the original statement, the Board of Directors clarified:
“While this may come as a shock to many, you should recognize that the Foundation is willing to make difficult decisions to protect the interests of our community.”
David Sønstebø has been an integral part of the IOTA project, which he founded in 2015. He served as co-chair of the Iota Foundation since 2017 and was a key figure in developing the project tailored for the Internet of Things.
The co-founder’s photo and bio have since been removed from the official IOTA website, and his email address bounces back.
The IOTA Community’s Take
The community has come out to support the Foundation’s decision, with many individuals reacting to the news on social media.
Reddit user 4745454B saw the move to part ways with Sønstebø as a step in the right direction, stating that some founders can’t grow with the project. The user added that the Foundation’s decision proves that it is getting corporate ready and isn’t only focused on tech.
Another Redditor who goes by the name CalculatedLuck also hailed the decision, noting that some of Sønstebø’s communications in the past had been “very unprofessional”. He added that he had sold out of the IOTA project a while ago due to poor leadership, but noted that the dismissal of the co-founder would do little to instil confidence in investors still HODLing.
Serguei Popov and Dominik Schiener, who are the only remaining co-founders of IOTA, assured the community that the decision would not derail any of the project’s objectives.
They refused to tarnish David’s reputation or leak internal information, but recognized the co-founder’s contribution to the project, asserting that he would forever be a founder of IOTA.
Project Still On Track
The IOTA foundation is currently working on the “Coordicide” upgrade, which is a three-phase plan to remove its Coordinator. The dev team remains focused on delivering IOTA 2.0, the fully decentralized IOTA Mainnet, by Q1 2021.
Serguei Popov and Dominik Schiener reiterated that David’s departure had no bearing on the execution of IOTA and the strategy concerning Chrysalis and Coordicide.