Gavin Wood is a computer scientist most well known for being a co-founder of Ethereum, along with Vitalik Buterin, Charles Hoskinson, Anthony Di Lorio, Mihai Alisie, Amir Chetrit, Joseph Lubin and Jeffrey Wilke.
After helping to found Ethereum, Wood also founded Parity Technologies, the company that would go on to create the Polkadot blockchain, a major Ethereum competitor. Wood is considered to be the mastermind behind the development of Polkadot.
Wood came onto the team in early 2014, along with Lubin and Wilke.
Buterin, Di Lorio, Hoskinson, Alisie and Chetrit were among the initial 5 founders, who started in 2013.
Wood was added to the Ethereum development team to help Buterin take Ethereum from a whitepaper to a functioning blockchain.
Wood went on to found the Ethereum Foundation, acting as its first CTO.
After leaving the Ethereum Foundation in 2016, Wood founded Parity Technologies and the Web 3 Foundations, where he created and jointly launched Polkadot (DOT) and Kusama (KSM).
Wood, while working on Ethereum, authored the Yellow Paper, which defined the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Wood ultimately left the development team at Ethereum in 2016 for reasons unknown, but speculation is that it either revolved around the financing, or lack of financing, for the development team, or because Ethereum development was moving too slowly for his liking, in a way that hampered upgradeability and performance.
In October 2022, Wood stepped down as CEO of Parity Technologies to become the company’s chief architect (and still the majority shareholder). The decision to step down was his own, as he wanted to shift his focus to making Polkadot
more relevant to large swathes of the population. This will begin by helping the community design and build several interesting chain-integrated social primitives which I think are crucial for us to deliver a true Web3 platform.