ARK was founded by 20+ individuals from all walks of life. In the early days, we ran our organization with a flat, decentralized structure. This structure allowed us to stay agile and quickly adapt our efforts towards whatever tasks were necessary. As the size of our team and the scope of our project continues to expand, we believe now is the time to refine our operational structure to enable the next stage in the growth of the ARK Ecosystem.
Looking Forward to 2019 — A Year of Refinement
With our new personnel on board and integrated into the team, one of our top priorities as we move deeper into 2019 is refining our business operations and creating a positive, structured working environment that sets our team up for success. We have complete confidence in our development teams ability to deliver a killer product, but we need to ensure that we are providing them with the proper tools, vision, and leadership to help them make the ARK Blockchain Platform a success.
Over the last several months, we conducted a review of our organizational structure, starting with the upper echelons of our company leadership and working our way down through the ranks. This post will serve to discuss the results of that review and several subsequent changes to the structure of our team.
The Supervisory Board of the SCIC is the equivalent of the Board of Directors at any major company. They are elected by the shareholders to manage their interests and are tasked with overseeing the performance of the Executive Board of the SCIC. The Supervisory Board has been re-established with a new vote and the resignation/removal of two (2) previous board members. Only one carry-over member from the previous Supervisory board (Lars Rensing) was re-elected. The Supervisory board currently has (3) members:
- Chairman: Matthew D. Cox (Newly Elected)
- Vice-Chairman: Lars Rensing
- Board Member: Scott McPherson (Newly Elected)
One key to a successful business is proper accountability across the entire team. The goal of the Supervisory Board will be to set tighter expectations and provide for better oversight of our Executive Team moving forward. This is a critical step in ensuring our leadership is held just as accountable as the rest of our team and that the operational structure of our company is clear to both the Team, Delegates, and community.
The Executive Board of the SCIC is like the executive team or ‘C’ level suite of any other company. The members of the Executive Board are senior executives who oversee daily operations of the business entity and are responsible for managing the execution of our roadmap.
The previous Executive Board at ARK consisted of only one member officially. With the election of the new Supervisory Board, they have chosen to promote one (1) team member and confirm two (2) new members to expand the Executive Board.
As of Wednesday, May 1st, Mr. Rok Černec has been officially promoted to the position of Vice-President of the company. This move will make Rok the equivalent of a Chief Operating Officer (COO) and allow him to assist at the highest level in the daily operational leadership of the SCIC.
The following are the current members of the Executive Board:
- President: François-Xavier Thoorens
- Vice-President: Rok Černec (Promoted/Confirmed)
- Chief Technology Officer (CTO): Kristjan Košič (Confirmed)
As you may have noticed, some of our senior members, such as Lars Rensing (CFO), are not present on the Executive Board. To provide for clear delineation of authority and follow the rules set out in the statutes that govern the SCIC, members are not authorized to serve on both the Supervisory and Executive boards concurrently. While they will still assist in their previous roles as Senior Advisors, they are not legally members of the Executive Board. This distinction only impacts votes specific to the Executive Board.
The ARK Development team is our most valuable asset and we would not be where we are today without their amazing talents. In order to help create a more efficient operational structure and better define responsibilities, we have assigned a Lead Developer to oversee all development efforts as well as Project Leads for each component of the ARK Blockchain Platform.
Our goal is for each Project lead to take greater responsibility and ownership of their area of expertise and help us better organize how we develop and communicate our efforts on each component of the platform. This will also help our partners and the community to have a central point of focus for updates and questions regarding the status of specific roadmap items.
The new assignments and promotions are as follows:
- Lead Developer: Brian Faust
- Lead Designer: Oleg Shcherbyna
- Lead, Network Infrastructure: Velislav Valkov
- ARK CORE: Joshua Noack
- ARK Desktop Wallet: Alex Barnsley
- ARK Mobile Wallet: Lúcio Rubens
- ARK Deployer: Alex Barnsley
- ARK Explorer: Michel Kraaijeveld
- ARK Internet-of-Things (IoT): Simon Downey
- ARK Website: Michel Kraaijeveld
These positions are all well deserved and will help provide not only the team, but the ARK community, partners, and the bridgechain ecosystem with clear cut lines of responsibility and points-of-contact for each component of the ARK Blockchain Platform.
Project leads will be responsible for organizing their project, interfacing with our Lead Developer, and working with our CTO to steer and develop the roadmap in their given area. They will also provide feedback and guidance to the Executive Board and help to bridge the gaps both internally and externally in the communication of their projects.
Over the next 3–6 months, we will monitor and assess these recent changes and compile the feedback from each project lead to see where we can continue to make positive improvements in how we operate, including hiring/appointing additional developers and project leads as necessary to round out our team.
The communications team is responsible for our external communications with partners, bridgechains & the ARK community. They also help to manage our social media strategy, create digital media, and provide email support on a daily basis. Last year we officially established our communications team with the hiring of Justin, Sam, and Carlye. Their hard work has already made a significant impact and is a major starting point for our upcoming outreach and support efforts.
We have made one small change to the structure of the communications team and that is the promotion of Justin Renken to the position of Senior Brand Manager. Putting a label on his contributions is hard as he has an impact on a wide range of initiatives, but some of our goals for Justin in his new position are:
- Develop modern brand strategy & consistency across all communications platforms
- Champion the User: i.e. ensure a major focus on all product design and development stays on the user experience and consistency in experience across the platform.
- Assisting in the planning, coordination, and execution of all communications and media actions on all channels, including online and social media.
- Assisting with product development, new product or feature launches as well as developing new business/marketing opportunities.
- Developing user focused digital media & documentation to improve the user experience and overall brand awareness and interactivity.
- Also, continuing to be Justin Renken…which is probably the most important goal.
On top of his normal duties, **Sam**Harper-Pittam will be taking on a major role in facilitating our “***Powered by ARK***” program and expanding our outreach and collaboration efforts with our bridgechain ecosystem. His experience with ARK, his knowledge of the technology, and his strong professionalism and positive attitude make him the perfect focal point for improving how we build relationships.
Carlye Wicklund will stay focused on baseline support and helping us get through the mountain of emails and initial contacts we receive so that we can continue to expand our reach and form exciting new partnerships that push the ecosystem forward.
While not officially a member of the communications team, I would also like to mention the addition of another new team member — Loïc Natchoo. Loïc is playing a major role in assisting with our operations and outreach efforts in France and will directly interface with the comms team to help us provide greater transparency and awareness of our progress on both regulation and adoption within the local economy. We are very lucky to have Loïc on our team and his knowledge and expertise are a key driving force for our industry and continue to spur a positive regulatory environment and meaningful conversation on the most important issues we face.
We will be releasing an official introductory post for Loïc in the near future.
This year, we are laser focused on the stand-up of our Marketing team, starting with a specific focus on B2B marketing.
We have now officially established our Marketing Team with our first two (2) new hires:
- Marketing Manager: Kai Richards
- Marketing Manager: Katie Phillips
Kai and Katie have years of experience in all facets of marketing, but specifically in the realm of B2B marketing. They will be key components in our new market segment strategy and will be helping to create a robust outreach model moving forward.
You will start seeing their contributions with the release of our first market segment materials relating to ARK + IoT later this year. These hires have been long in the making and could not have come at a more critical time. We are very excited about what Kai & Katie bring to the table and will continue to grow and expand our Marketing Team as necessary as we make a larger push towards outreach and marketing in general.
Introductory blog posts for both Kai and Katie are currently in the works and will be released over the next several weeks.
Evolving our Business
While these initial changes will have a lasting impact on our organizational structure and the overall efficiency of our team, we will continue to monitor and evolve our business as necessary to ensure the success of the ARK Blockchain Platform and the Ecosystem as a whole. As we continue into 2019, our top priorities are maintaining the current pace of development, knocking off the prominent items on our roadmap, and turning our sights towards a major ramp-up in our marketing and outreach efforts.
We believe that 2019 will be as evolutionary a transition period for the business side of ARK as 2018 was for the ARK Core technology itself. Together with our new Marketing Team and a renewed focus on a more refined and structured operational strategy, we can focus on the most important task ahead — Adoption.