Cardano Foundation prepares for smart contracts and DApps, appoints CEO and Head of Growth

Cardano Foundation prepares for smart contracts and DApps, appoints CEO and Head of Growth

21 SEPTEMBER 2020. Ahead of the rollout of smart contracts, decentralized applications, and the onboarding of new ecosystem participants, the Cardano Foundation—the organization governing the Cardano blockchain—is strengthening its management by appointing two leaders formerly of Big Four professional services firm PwC, from the Blockchain and Digital Services team.

The Swiss-based Foundation names Frederik Gregaard as its first Chief Executive Officer. Frederik, former Head of Digital Financial Services at PwC, will be a driving force for the Foundation, setting the strategic direction and providing leadership as Cardano approaches several crucial development milestones. Working alongside an expanding global team of 30 people, he will advise the Cardano Foundation’s Council while spearheading adoption and co-creation with enterprise.

Eva Oberholzer, former Head of Communications at PwC Switzerland, and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at SEBA Bank, joins the Cardano Foundation as its Head of Growth to drive future expansion and adoption of Cardano. Eva will represent all Cardano stakeholders, including the professional community, institutions, and strategic partners; meeting their needs at the management level and creating new opportunities for the Cardano blockchain.

Both appointments go into effect in October.

These long-planned appointments are in direct response to the Cardano Foundation’s priorities of overseeing a timely and orderly rollout of Cardano’s enterprise functionalities. This will include acquiring additional expertise and skillsets, solidifying the Foundation’s organizational structure, and transitioning into the fourth phase of its development. The upcoming development milestones for Cardano will usher in smart contracts, decentralized applications, and a focus on the Cardano Foundation’s new enterprise partners.

Nathan Kaiser, Chairperson of the Cardano Foundation, says:

“With these appointments, we are further strengthening our leadership function and I am honored that Frederik and Eva are bringing their passion to Cardano. The Cardano ecosystem not only gains two long-term professionals in the blockchain industry, but also two experts in digital transformation. I am confident that with Frederik’s vision—combined with his extensive experience in blockchain—the Foundation will continue to push forward its missions. Likewise, Eva’s arrival cements our growth strategy to drive adoption of Cardano among corporates and in regulated industries.”

Frederik Gregaard, Chief Executive Officer of the Cardano Foundation:

“I am delighted and honored to join the Cardano Foundation and advance its core missions, which I see as crucial to building a strong digital asset ecosystem and the future financial infrastructure backbone. The Foundation has a dedicated and high-caliber talent base, which will take Cardano to new heights, together with our enthusiastic community. I am joining the Cardano Foundation during a paradigm shift in Cardano’s functionality and useability, and I anticipate that the next few years will be a significant growth period for the protocol.”

To find out more about the Cardano Foundation’s recent appointments, please read our official press release.


Great news looking forward to their contributions!

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Feels so disconnected from the community.
New CEO airdropped (did I miss the discussion?), right on the heels of the Community Roadmap initiative. I hope we’ll prosper, but I smell challenge.

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Hey @rin9s,

I hope you are well :slight_smile: First and foremost this has gone out as a press release to journalists, because we feel this is great news for the Cardano Foundation and it should be spread far and wide! The post above is a verbatim copy of the release we sent to the press—but it’s important to share things like this on the forum at the same time, so the community doesn’t hear about it from a third-party news source.

As you will have seen, Frederik and Eva are joining the Cardano Foundation in October, so there is still a little time before they officially start ‘working’ so to speak. When they do start, Frederik and Eva will introduce themselves on the forums personally, so you will learn more about them and hopefully you will see that they are sure to be great assets to the Foundation :slight_smile:

What I can say however is that these hires have been in the works for a long, long time and aren’t related to the Community Roadmap initiative, although we appreciate the efforts of the community in shaping the roadmap and we will be following up on this initiative, as we detailed in our recent communique.

If this release feels a little disconnected from the community it’s only because it’s a press release and not originally written for the community, but rest assured the appointment of Frederik and Eva is a huge leap in the right direction for every Cardano ecosystem participant.

Thanks and have a great day!



Thanks for your words Elliot, as always, very clear :wink:


The foundation is doing it’s best! We’re are swimming in uncharted territory! Best of luck to the new CEO!


I honestly hope so.

That’s what I’m talking about. And I left out the “Community Roadmap Initiative” part on purpose, but not for the sake of sounding provocative.

Don’t you believe that in a community owned project, the community should hear about such decisions before the press release? Before candidates are approved? Before deciding on filling strategic functions?
I do. Just to hear about it, nothing more.
So we can feel like we’re a part of the real conversation, without exception, but indubitably on something this substantial.

It’s not my intention to cast a bad light on this decision. I am only trying to point out where I feel we can and should be doing better.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply @ElliotHill!


Sorry but I think you’re being a little naive here. To announce something to the community is to announce it to the public. And every organisation is very careful what and when they announce in public, for good reasons.


Hey @rin9s,

Of course, I know your feedback wasn’t intended negatively :slight_smile: There are certain things the Cardano Foundation can involve the community in at all stages (i.e. from planning through to execution), like our CIPs proposals, our regulatory outreach work, and our RFPs for example. However, when it comes to staffing matters, processes must be done tactfully - not to conceal our operations, but to protect our staff.

For instance, negotiations cannot be revealed as the candidate may still be in the employ of another company, and as I’m sure you understand this would create a conflict of interest. As Rob has commented this is standard across any organization - foundation or otherwise.

That said, our community finds out exactly the same time as all other ecosystem participants. This news was circulated among journalists at the same time as here on the Forums, the Cardano Foundation website, and our Medium channel - we make sure the community is included the second this news is public. :slight_smile:

I hope this answers some questions and you can see why this is a complex process :slight_smile: Have a good evening!



Yes, I must admit I agree with both of you that this is extra tricky, and even impractical, when it comes to staffing @ElliotHill @RobJF.

But I feel that we still have room to improve the conversation. It would require subtlety and originality to meet the visibility standards we’ve set for ourselves, but meet it we must. That’s just my opinion.

Thank you both! And I wish the best of luck to our newest additions to the team!


Talk about adding two power players to the team. :slight_smile: i think this is awesome and can only help Cardano move forward with its tech and adoption!


Excellent news for Cardano.