The NEAR Foundation announced a restructuring that will see its workforce slashed by 40%, which is about 35 members of its staff. This decision, which comes despite the expansion within the NEAR ecosystem in 2023, is aimed at streamlining operations for greater efficiency and impact, according to the announcement.
Reason Behind NEAR Foundation Workforce Slash
Illia Polosukhin, CEO of the NEAR Foundation, indicated that the adjustments are part of a “calculated” move to “bolster” the foundation’s effectiveness in key areas.
According to the announcement, the restructuring will mainly affect the marketing, business development, and community teams. Polosukhin assured that the NEAR Foundation’s treasury “remains strong and well-managed,” indicating the organization’s alleged solid financial health.
As mentioned in the announcement, this restructuring comes on the heels of an extensive internal review, which suggested that the foundation’s multifaceted approach may have diluted its effectiveness.
According to Polosukhin, the organization was spreading itself too thin, leading to a slower pace of work and diminished impact. To combat this, Polosukhin noted:
Following this review, we have decided to significantly consolidate the core Foundation team to focus on a narrower and higher-impact set of activities.
Steady Growth And Future Decentralization Plans
Despite the reduction in staff, the NEAR Foundation’s financial reserves remain substantial. The treasury currently holds $285 million in cash, 305 million NEAR tokens valued at approximately $1.1 billion, and an additional $70 million in investments and loans.
According to Polosukhin, the foundation can continue fostering the growth and decentralization of the NEAR Protocol and its broader ecosystem.
Polosukhin further emphasized that despite the downsizing, the NEAR ecosystem has witnessed significant expansion, as mentioned above. The CEO of the NEAR Foundation pointed to the protocol’s success in hosting “three of the top ten” applications in the web3 space and its consistent record of high daily user activity.
As of December last year, the NEAR Protocol boasted over 7 million monthly active accounts, 35 million total accounts, and an average of over 2 million daily transactions.
The NEAR Foundation CEO also shed light on the organization’s long-term vision, which includes further decentralization. This ongoing process aims to reduce the foundation’s direct involvement over time, allowing for more independent activity within the network and across the ecosystem.
Polosukhin views the recent staff reductions as a step toward this goal, ensuring the foundation maintains a “focused and strategic presence while enabling broader community-driven growth and innovation.”
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