ICE appoints interim Bakkt CEO

David Clifton replaces Mike Blandina at Bakkt, as he departs after just four months to pursue other opportunities.

ICE has selected its former vice president to serve as interim CEO at its digital assets trading and payments platform, Bakkt.

The platform, which ICE holds a majority stake in, will see its current CEO Mike Blandina depart from the company after just four months, making room for former vice president David Clifton, who will act as the interim for the position.

ICE said that Clifton takes over from Blandina as he decided to leave the company to pursue a new opportunity. As interim CEO Clifton will be responsible for driving growth and the integration of Bridge2 Solutions, a system Bakkt acquired earlier this year.

Clifton Joined ICE in 2008 as an Associate General Counsel, M&A. Throughout his time at the exchange he secured various deals, including the 2013 acquisition of NYSE Euronext.

“David Clifton has been deeply engaged in many of our most important initiatives over the years and, after helping to lead the acquisition of Bridge2 to accelerate the rollout of Bakkt’s consumer application, I know he will provide outstanding leadership for Bakkt as its Interim CEO,” said Jeffrey Sprecher Founder, Chairman and CEO of ICE.

At the start of 2019, ICE’s cryptocurrency project, Bakkt raised $182 million from its first funding round from consortium of 12 organisations including Boston Consulting Group, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, and others. ICE first announced plans for its cryptocurrency platform in August last year, drawing on support from non-financial organisations, including Microsoft and Starbucks, to launch a federally-regulated market and warehouse for digital assets.