EMURGO 3.0: Appointing Group COO, Business Unit Executives, and New CTO to Globally Strengthen the Leadership Team


EMURGO Ptd. Ltd. – EMURGO Ptd. Ltd. (“EMURGO”), the official commercial arm and a founding entity of the Cardano blockchain, today announced the appointments of four new senior executives to bolster its global management team.

Rio “Popeye” Inaba has been named Group Chief Operating Officer of EMURGO and will oversee global business operations and strategic growth. Inaba brings more than 25 years of experience in senior leadership roles at multinational conglomerates, where he led digitalization and digitization initiatives. Most recently, Inaba was Chief Innovation Officer of AEON Co., Ltd., Japan’s largest retail conglomerate with over $80 billion in annual revenue. Along with having a keen understanding of the needs of large enterprises, Inaba’s vast experiences and business network will help lead EMURGO to bridge the gap between traditional enterprises and their adoption of Web3 technologies to create more business cases by adopting Cardano.

The other appointments are as follows:

  • Sebastian Zilliacus has been appointed General Manager of Cardano Clan and will oversee a new Cardano community project that will provide the Cardano community with a comprehensive social platform to engage in all things Web3 Cardano. At his most recent positions, Zilliacus was in executive roles at publicly listed companies ZignSec (STO: ZIGN) and Sprinkle Group respectively.
  • Vineeth Bhuvanagiri has been appointed General Manager of EMURGO Fintech and will be responsible for heading EMURGO’s newly established Fintech division. Previously, Bhuvanagiri co-founded Flume Health – a healthcare payments company – and was also an early employee at Paxos where he built their OTC infrastructure and architected their Bankchain platform.
  • Javier Franco has been appointed Chief Technical Officer of EMURGO and will oversee EMURGO’s overall technical solutions and services. Franco has spent most of his career in global IT as a developer and in executive roles. For the last decade, Franco has been extensively involved in blockchain development and previously joined Consensys as one of its key early developers.

“We are thrilled to add a talented team of key executives to reaffirm our long-term commitment to Cardano’s ecosystem and help achieve our vision of driving Cardano’s Web3 adoption with impactful services and solutions. Their collective experiences strengthen our ability to achieve these objectives as it positions us to actively engage more with businesses and the Cardano community, and also increase our product development capabilities to meet the increasing demand for Cardano’s Web3 services,” said EMURGO founder and CEO Ken Kodama.