Former SushiSwap CTO writes short reflection about leadership failures at blockchain DEX

“In the end, ultimately, I failed to deliver because of my compounding failures and will incorporate this knowledge into my next project,” said Delong.

On Friday, Joseph Delong, former chief technology officer of decentralized exchange, or DEX, SushiSwap, published a brief reflection of experiences during his tenure.

Delong unilaterally resigned two days prior, citing internal structural chaos among developers behind the popular DEX. In explaining his decision, Delong outlined failures to scale operations, lack of organization skills, problematic contributors, and poor communication as the primary reasons. On Twitter and among blockchain personalities alike, Delong received mostly praises for coming public with his experience and learning from his mistakes.

According to Delong, he did not inform the Sushi community when problems began to surface amongst developers he managed, nor did he engage with users enough to build rapport for the project. In addition, Delong talked about using his personal Twitter presence to share his feelings about SushiSwap developments. This was a polarizing decision among the SushiSwap community. Some users have praised him for being authentic with his feelings, while others labeled the move as unprofessional or inconsiderate to stakeholders.

Prior to being CTO at SushiSwap, Delong was a senior software engineer at ConsenSys. In part due to his leadership, SushiSwap has grown to become the 13th largest DEX by trading volume. However, the protocol also faced its share of setbacks.

In summing up the experience, Delong stated:

I think the imperfect birth of Sushi has led to additional problems, and in my next project, I will have the capability to structure an organization to empower the contributors. Thank you for allowing me to lead Sushi through this time, and I wish Sushi the best of luck.


SushiSwap CTO resigns citing internal structural chaos

“I am now going to take a one-month vacation with my wife and kids and go build my next project. Long live Sushi,” said Joseph Delong.

Late Wednesday, Joseph Delong, chief technology officer of SushiSwap, the 13th largest decentralized exchange, or DEX, by trading volume, tendered his immediate resignation from the role. Explaining his decision, Delong gave the following statement:

“I wish Sushi the best and am saddened that Sushi is so imperiled within and without. The chaos that is occurring now is unlikely to result in a resolution that will leave the DAO as much more of a shadow than it once was without a radical structural transformation.”

Previously, Delong had voiced disappointment over the inability for SushiSwap to launch on Optimism, a layer two scaling solution for Ethereum (ETH). Delong also claimed to receive little support from centralized exchanges about hackers’ identities after the SushiSwap’s token launchpad experienced a $3M hack, saying it was the “hardest day of my life so far.”

But it appears that it wasn’t simply the technical setbacks of the project that played a role in Delong’s decision. In a series of follow-up Tweets after the announcement, Delong posted screenshots of alleged harassment from SushiSwap users, to which he then cited “it’s the community that does it for me.”

“I highly recommend the installation of a C-suite from outside the DAO [Decentralized Autonomous Organization] and give them the tools to effectively manage a team. Be wary of any self-proclaimed leaders arising from the current core team.” said Delong.