Sections of the NEM (XEM) community were in uproar this week after NEM Foundation President Alexandra Tinsman announced her intention to take a 6-month paid sabbatical. 

Tinsman’s decision to step back from the day-to-day running of the foundation was motivated partly by serious health issues, she revealed to Cointelegraph. However, some NEM supporters weren’t sold on the idea of their leader taking a 6-month paid holiday after just over a year in the job. 

NEM restructures operations

The NEM Foundation announced on April 8th plans for a large-scale restructuring of the project’s operations. That includes plans to pull three separate operational entities under one umbrella. Three previously independent wings of the project — NEM Ventures, NEM Trading, and NEM Software — will now be overseen by the newly formed NEM Group. 

The announcement also revealed Tinsman’s intention to take a 6-month paid sabbatical:

“At this time, we would like to announce that Alexandra Tinsman, President of the NEM Foundation, has decided to step back from operational leadership. She will be taking a well earned 6 month sabbatical (paid) after the long hours of running the NEM Foundation.”

While some commenters celebrated the restructuring and wished Tinsman well, others were less enthusiastic. One commenter wrote:

“A paid sabbatical is something you get after 10-20 years of service to your company. A paid six month sabbatical for one year of presidency is not earned at all and is an utter insult to stakeholders like me.”

That sentiment was echoed by other disgruntled NEM investors, one of whom expressed dissatisfaction with what they regarded as a lack of progress shown by the team in the past twelve months. 

“So let me get this straight. The new NEM foundation got the funds, achieved nothing for over a year and now the president gets a 6 month paid vacation? This coin has been the worst performing coin in my portfolio and it’s sad to see what is happening to this once mighty project.”

Don’t let the trolls get you down

Alexandra Tinsman refuted the notion that the NEM community was in uproar, claiming it was just a few rotten eggs making most of the noise. Tinsman told Cointelegraph:

“The negative voices you are seeing on the forums are well known community trolls from another project. Overall, it has been an overwhelmingly positive response from the community with regards to the restructure and my sabbatical.”

Tinsman revealed the decision to take a sabbatical was motivated in part by the return of a serious health issue — one which had required emergency heart surgery in 2018. Those health issues weren’t helped by the demands of running and coordinating a global blockchain project which consisted of multiple independent, decentralized entities. Tinsman said:

“I’ve worked 14+ hours a day seven days a week for almost two years [...] It’s just not humanly possible or reasonable for anyone to maintain that kind of lifestyle while leading a fully distributed decentralized global team.”

The newly announced restructuring will see those decentralized aspects of the team brought under one overseeing entity — the NEM Group. Tinsman cited the need to evolve in a fast-changing industry, and a desire for greater cohesion in the project’s day to day operations.

“By moving to a more centralized and traditional business structure with a CEO to strategically lead the ecosystem, we have a better chance at aligned goals, seeing projects better supported and managing finite resources and funds better.”

NEM Group will be managed by CEO David Shaw, previously part of the management board of telecommunications firm Energis, and CEO of Cable and Wireless Americas.