Election of Jonathan Howard as Head Chef

Jon Howard comes highly recommended from someone I respect a great deal as a builder and business person. I need to do some more research myself, but the recommendation of the person I know via Twitter bodes really well.


I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jon and knowing him for a while - he’s incredibly thoughtful, experienced, and detail-oriented. His track record and determination to find the best outcome no matter the situation make him an ideal candidate for leading Sushi through this next phase of web3 and beyond. He’s exactly the type of leader that defi needs more of, and I can’t wait to see where Sushi can go with Jon behind the counter!


Spoken to Jon a few times during the multi-month recruitment and vetting process. Jonathan comes across very knowledgeable in setting teams up for success, getting start/scale-ups up and running and understanding how the different departments should organize to find synergies. With his achievements in the tech scene, curiosity and experience in the crypto space I’m confident we’ve nominated a worthy candidate of this exciting and challenging role. I’m looking forward to further build Marketing 2.0 with Jonathan and welcome this Big Head to Sushi 2.0 ;)!


Really happy about this. Jon is very smart, brings a new dimension to Sushi, and most importantly is a high character & high integrity individual.

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Absolutely. Just starting to organize that for the next call in fact. Looking forward to meeting you and the rest of the community!


Have spoken to Jon a handful of times and have been impressed. I think having a head chef with a background in technology & art is perfect for where we’re at now and where we’re going.


Regardless of the candidate, guaranteeing the Head Chef roughly $1M USD per year does not really seem like a “compensation package that is highly incentivized for performance”.


Am I understanding this correctly that if he were to get fired day 1 he would get 24 months severence @ 800k USDC p.a. + sushi rewards? If that’s the case…

With all due respect to everyone involved this is a crazy ask. We do not need to pay 800k USDC for someone with so little expertise on the areas sushi needs the most help. The number one priority should be delivering products. Do whatever you need to do to get that done, and make it the goal. It is a shame trident has crawled along as slow as it has, and I’m the opinion that it should take a higher priority than an nft marketplace.

I encourage everyone to critically read this proposal and don’t get distracted by the social aspect of it all.

Edit: Where is this USDC coming from? Assuming the funds for this proposal comes out of the operational multisig, which has 2.67m usdc and 250k sushi, if this guy leaves day one he will take with him 60% of the USDC and ALL of the sushi with still 50k yet to be paid.
The treasury only has 90k usdc with the rest being almost entirely the $15m worth of sushi.


I agree as well. An 800k USDC ask plus what could be millions in token incentives is insane imo. Sushi can hardly afford $800k USDC given current revenues, and imo it should be closer to 1/4 of that given his previous experience (He has not led a DEX or another major DeFi project), and I also think more of his salary should be in native token to give him more of an incentive to succeed. As it stands, he is rich if he fails and very rich if suceeds


Let’s break down the comp package:

800,000 USD base
600,000 + 12,500 = 612,500 SUSHI vest
350,000 SUSHI one-time bonus
1,200,000 SUSHI
Let’s say Sushi price is $2

800,000 + 1,225,000 + 700,000 + 2,400,000

Total: $5,125,000

you can calculate subsequent price actions at $3, $5 etc. given the price volatility, anyone can sit there and get paid 5m?

Let’s put aside comp package. The performance bonus price trigger clause is now being lowered to $3 as supposed to the previous $12? Cmon… the chef doesn’t have any confidence and has to insert this clause in his proposal?

Let’s put aside bonus. If he is fired/quits, then he can execute immediate severance of roughly $2m?

60% of proposal is talking about comp and bonuses :slight_smile: what a sad day for Sushi. Calling Chef Nomi who at least knew how AMMs work…


So there is not enough USDC in the treasury to even pay the base?

proposal is asking 15% of the treasury to be paid as head chef’s comp and bonuses :slight_smile:

$11 gets 300k sushi bonus… reminder that ATH of Sushi was $21.


Well, well, well. This is likely going to be an unpopular opinion.

I have been thinking about this a lot, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to write another comment about Sushi drama! I was tempted to leave it as a vote for the community, but ultimately we all know the governance process is rigged. So I figured I would give my two cents.

Hmmm, who is the community?

You can all see this cute little text snippet on Sushi’s homepage:


“Sushi is the home of DeFi. Our community is building a comprehensive, decentralized trading platform for the future of finance.”

But if you look deeper, you’ll see some people from Compensation Committee repeatedly say that the community is not just the minority stakeholders who hang out daily in the discord or share new governance ideas, attend AMA, or even hold small to medium bags, or actually use the apps and frequently participate in the governance forum. Instead, it is larger whales who can change the course of the needle in governance proposals benefitting their bags.

Let me break this news to you! Sushi is not community-run anymore. It was a nice experiment, but it definitely is not community-run like it claims to be. The community is Arca, Cumberland, and a few other investors calling the shots with the compensation committee.

Anyone reading this might be thinking now, why such an extensive prologue? But you need to grasp this part to get the totality of the recent development.

  • Sushi 2.0 was only approved by the investors bunch with an add-on clause that the team will choose a Head Chef quickly! They pressured the existing team to select one ASAP, or they wouldn’t vote. This was the time DeFi Wonderland’s takeover proposal was hanging around fyi.
  • Fwik, two community reps who worked towards Sushi 2.0, introduced two of their friends into the candidate pool for Head Chef, Nick (Boring) and Jon (Neil). Both of these candidates had access to internal team discord, giving them an edge :slight_smile:
  • I remember Jon joining one of our all-hands call abruptly, stating that the investor community wanted him to run Shoyu or Sushi, as he was the essential candidate they were looking for which at that moment came out as a surprise for a few of us!
  • A leadership channel was formed to interview candidates from the top of the funnel. It was TL from different departments (Engineering Lead, Marketing Lead, Design Lead, Ops, myself) along with Matthew and Neil (Compensation Committee).
  • Although there were campaigns and posts for “Nomination of Head Chef” on medium, Twitter, and forum, I only remember interviewing both of these folks, which seemed a bit weird and not very holistic. The reason stated was, “Sushi is not attractive enough for anyone anymore to even apply.”
  • During the interview with Jon, he struck me as someone nice with skills. Still, I did not see him as a head chef at that moment because he had no relevant experience in DeFi and didn’t bring up anything extraordinary on the roadmap he presented. I’ve never seen him hanging around Sushi ecosystem before, either. Imo Sushi needs an advisor who can help us stay competent and innovative in the space.
  • One of the major concerns with Jon’s proposal was that he didn’t have a cliff for his Sushi when the entire team in Sushi 2.0 had a one-year cliff, and four-year vesting (with a runway of fewer than 18 months). He also asked for severance of 24 months for a protocol that has only existed for less than two years. This is not unheard of in web2 for execs with decades of experience, but in DeFi, I think this is new?
  • Several team members voiced their concerns about the no-cliff policy and the severance package. Later, we did an anonymous vote within the team, and it turned out that most of us wanted Jon to reduce the cliff to what the team gets (one year), while the severance should be six months from the beginning.
  • I have heard that Jon agreed to the cliff part to make it the same as the team, which is one year (at least for us!). However, according to this latest proposal, it has been pushed earlier to 6 months. Is this true?
  • A few discussions were back and forth between some of us who were vocal about the severance, but it looked like the proposal just got posted on the forum with the original terms for severance.
  • Jon did not budge from reducing the severance package stating several reasons, from “severance is in the company’s best interest” to “vulnerability of getting fired by the DAO.” This one seemed counterintuitive to me that there was no confidence in the community and hedge funds backing him very confidently. Kind of seemed like a hedge to me, honestly! He also mentioned he loses much more in millions by leaving his startup and taking on the head chef role.
  • I remember mewny expressing interest in running for the interim chef on Twitter, but I don’t know what followed from there. I also know that @ross , one of our Solidity developers, put up a proposal to run for head chef internally. I don’t know what happened to either of these from the ones I remember. I would like to know what happened with these before I see this proposal rushed to the forum.
  • It was also stated to the team multiple times that Jon has experience raising VC funds and will be able to help us secure rounds.

It’s pretty evident from all this for my smol brain that the investor bunch wants to move towards a VC run path, rather than Sushi being community-run. There was a proposal recently which got no votes from the Arca-Cumberland investor group about the “Transparency for Finances within the DAO” authored by @BoringCrypto , the architect behind the OG Bentobox which got close to 4.1m votes with the likes of folks like 9x9x9.

What surprises me the most is how anyone in this space can sign off a 24-month severance towards someone with relatively no DeFi experience. We need to also consider that this is a deep bear market. It’s not just Sushi who is struggling. The Price Target Incentives are a bit too low IMO, they should be targeted for higher price targets.

I don’t know what the solution is, but I just wish there was a way to fix all of this. It’s so frustrating to see all this drama and not be able to do anything about it. Here are some thoughts though:

  1. Sushi needs someone to act as an interim chef with relevant experience and game in this field. We need innovative and competent products to stay relevant in this space—a lot of examples from mewny to getting incubated within tangent_xyz etc where Maki is an advisor.

  2. Decide if the course Sushi wants to go is community-run vs. VC funded.

The sad thing is Sushi might be the closest we have to truly community-run protocols, but it definitely has its flaws. With this recent development, we’ll likely be entirely sailing away from the community-run ethos.

Since we are here, let’s try to recall all the actions Arca signed off in the past:

A1: Reject Phantom Troupe altogether!

Result: Sushi has a lower runway than most startups in the space. Instead, Sushi would be sitting on a significant war chest and more balanced governance if we had more players with significant stakeholding power. Maki quits…

A2: Trust the wrong parties!!

Result: I can’t emphasize how many months of infighting, chaos followed.

A3: Back Dani and Sifu with claims that they have done hundreds of hours of due diligence.

Result : Well, I don’t have to explain that one :wink:

Honestly, I’m not sure if they are bad at making decisions or just like steering the ship to voidness.

I believe that it’s okay to have a mix of opinions. It helps to maintain healthy governance. I like Jon as a candidate, but I don’t like how the process is done. Maybe DAOs and communities are not supposed to work. It’s a shame overall for the future of France.

TLDR; Sushi looks like it’s turning into a Corp!


Hi Matt, as a 50% member of the oversight committee, this level of disclosure is unbecoming. I was a community advocate during the post frog era and I was part of the team internal server when Jon was added in April.

It was in advance of there being a ceo job posted and if I remember correctly it was also before a process for hiring ceo had been finalised.

There’s been an unfair advantage and he has had opportunities not afforded to all candidates. This is compounded by his prior relationship with the other 50% of comp/oversight committee.

It also gave him access to all manner of sensitive information and it is my understanding that he has already discussed ‘new token’ launches and strategies.

All very unfair and privileged. The way you are proceeding with this appointment is unethical and lacks transparency. These are the issues we collectively set out to fix together and it’s disappointing that we are still operating similarly to during the frog takeover.

Arca have unfair influence akin to minority shareholder oppression. Your ‘oversight/comp’ committee is endorsing and enshrining undesirable ethics.

@JiroOno how can we/you fairly evaluate the economic impact of this package on sushi’s finances? The lack of cashflow management is stark and there is no financial logic provided beyond what Jon requires to be happily remunerated. Can we afford this?

Non-disclosures are unacceptable and unfair on Jon. Any good leader will want to be elected fairly and without manipulation, it’s almost a defining leadership characteristic called self belief.


This proposal comes purely across as a sham and I personally expected better from you ( @JiroOno ) and @ImSoftware

There are many “weird” points in this proposal let’s name a few:

  1. The start date is 16 August 2022. This proposal is just a formality, especially since many suggestions take ages until they are through governance. (e.g., TOKE proposal)

  2. It is fishy that the Head Chef candidate will join the compensation committee with a member suggesting him as a candidate.

  3. Legal Risk, this one is just project seppuku. The candidate can do something terrible such as trading with insider information, and if he gets sued, his legal bills will be paid by sushi. The treasury is not the head chef’s legal funds. If he takes his Severance after the first month and gets Sued for it (let’s be honest, the severance is just a fat pay check), Sushi would still pay his legal fees.

    So why would Sushi pay his legal fees if the candidate’s contract is terminated for any reason? It feels like Sushi is handing him a get-out-of-jail-free card. @ross , you have legal experience. Did people even ask your opinion about this?

  4. Combining the Legal Risk part with the Angel investor part feels fishier than Sifu past.

  5. The ability to hire/fire people and involvement in compensation is just dangerous. Conflict of interest will be big, and I am curious who would benefit the most if this candidate is chosen.

6.Last but not least an exact quote from the proposal

This quote confirms that this proposal is a pure sham. Every proposal on the forum needed at least a poll that was for mostly for the proposal, and now it is just a “head check,” and the snapshot will ultimately decide, this is just a slap to the active members of the sushi community. Most active community members have small-medium bags, but they are still here that they like Sushi and what it can become.


We had an obligation as part of the 2.0 proposal, which went through govt. and passed, to undertake a leadership search and nominate a candidate which we think is capable. Our job is done as far as I’m concerned. What happens next is up to the community.

With all due respect, that sidesteps the points raised. Jon’s proposal doesn’t mention the team members that will benefit from the resetting of their bonus price targets to in line with what he proposes for himself. Nor how much this will cost.

It’s far from transparent.

I assume you will benefit from that financially. It lays bare the conflict of interest of your oversight/comp role and how it’s a level of self governance that leaves Sushi more open to abuse than at any other point in its existence.

If this passes you, jon, and Neil will be free to decide your own allocation of ‘future tokens’ for projects. Can you not see any issues with that? It’s akin to a blank cheque.


Maybe we could schedule an AMA with the communauty and Jon. From what I see, Jon has no experience in running a DeFi protocol and no history with Sushi.
Let’s give the man a chance to justify his (huge - imo -) package.


He’ll be attending the forum Tomorrow.


The compensation appears significant. For an org that does as much revenue as Sushi does, and is capable of doing, I’m not immediately turned off by the compensation package. We need solid leadership with significant experience running a sizable organization and that person needs to be incentivized to improve the business.

I do wonder if we need to consider more performance metrics? Token price is a legitimate metric for basing compensation and is important to me as a holder. What about revenue? Revenue is important for the health of the entire organization? We need to increase revenues to be able to afford everything we wish to accomplish. And to properly compensate other individuals who we ask to do things for the organization.

So I think it is worth discussing other performance metrics. Definitely worth discussing whether this compensation package is negotiable. It should be negotiable. But I’m not entirely convinced that this is overpayment for an organization of our size with our current revenues and prospective revenues.


Based on everything Pegbit shares in this post, I have to tell you, I feel like I’m voting on things without having all the information.

We need transparency in finances, sure. But I’m not sure we have basic transparency in operations. If there have been other prospective candidates, we should really be hearing from each candidate. Have proposals for each candidate and votes on each candidate.

I’m torn b/c we need a head chef. Jon comes highly recommended from someone I respect. But we need seriously better transparency & communications at all levels.

I always feel like I’m being asked to vote on items. I’m not immediately offended by those items. Then later on I get far more information that I should know before something comes to the forum.

What is happening behind the curtain?