Obadia, a top strategy researcher, is leaving Flashbots due to a strategic hiring push.

Flashbots, a company that focuses on research and development in the crypto industry, has announced a series of personnel changes as it seeks to raise funds at a reported $1 billion valuation. This includes the departure of Alex Obadia, a top strategy researcher who was one of the earliest employees at Flashbots. Obadia announced on Twitter that he was stepping down for personal reasons, citing “differing opinions within leadership”. He helped co-lead the strategy division and held the formal title of “founding steward” at the company.

Flashbots builds software that facilitates the extraction of MEV (maximal extractable value) – extra profit that can be earned by strategically ordering how transactions are organized into the “blocks” that get written to a blockchain’s ledger. The company’s MEV-Boost middleware is used by virtually all of the validators that help operate Ethereum. Flashbots is reportedly close to announcing a Series B funding round that will value the firm at $1 billion.

Among the company’s new hires is Andrew Miller, who joins the team as research lead working on Trusted Execution Environments and SUAVE. Miller is best known as one of the researchers who broke Intel’s SGX code. Flashbots has added 13 team members in the past six months, bringing the total size of the team above 50.

Flashbots aims to illuminate, democratize, and distribute MEV, and there is consolidation happening in the MEV supply chain. The company is now in the latter-renaissance of MEV and is closer towards shipping larger and more detailed specifications for their solution to MEV, called SUAVE.