Numerous headlines have declared the resignations a “crisis”, but Zhao has dubbed the narrative as FUD, stating turnover is normal in any company.
Some of Binance’s top executives resigned this week as the exchange battles through sustained regulatory onslaught. The resignations come at a time of intense regulatory pressure on Binance, which has faced a mammoth lawsuit from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), leading to the severance of banking relationships across the globe.
The pressure seems to have taken a toll on Binance’s staff, leading to the resignations of general counsel Hon Ng, chief strategy officer Patrick Hillmann, and SVP for compliance Steven Christie. Matthew Price, a former IRS agent whom Binance hired in 2021 to oversee global investigations and intelligence, also resigned.
CEO Changpeng Zhao called the influx of negative headlines ‘FUD’, which is likely true.
Former strategy officer Hillman for instance wrote on Twitter that his wife is due to give birth “any hour now (literally)”, adding that “I continue to respect and support [CZ] and am grateful for having had the incredible opportunity to work under his leadership.”
He explained, “I’ve been here for two years and it’s simply time for me to move on to the next challenge. I’ve taken this company through a lifetime of industry crises and regulatory challenges — from Luna to 3AC to FTX. Despite all of these challenges, the company has continued to grow and thrive.”
Along similar lines, Steven Christie wrote with some humour, “I have been in crypto compliance since 2015 when I joined Xapo, spending the last ~6 years straight leading and growing the Compliance functions at Kraken and Binance without a break. At this point I am simply tired. And according to my wife fat, and need to lose some weight.”
He added that Binance has invested more into compliance, people and technology than “anywhere [he] has ever worked, or even heard of in [his] career”.
Zhao told Fortune that the company promoted a new general counsel a month ago, and that Chief Compliance Officer Noah Perlman will be staying on at the company.
Perlman confirmed this on Twitter, writing, “I’m getting lots of calls from media asking if I’m leaving Binance. The answer is unequivocally, no! I’m proud to be part of this incredible organization as we navigate the growing pains of the crypto industry.”
Several reports stated that the resignations come in response to an ongoing Department of Justice investigation, but Zhao stated that the “reasons dreamed up by the ‘news’ are completely wrong.”
He said that Binance has grown from 30 to 8000 people in 6 years, and skyrocketed to the world’s largest exchange less than five months from launching.
“There is turnover at every company,” he wrote, thanking the executives for their contributions and welcoming those replacing their roles.
He concluded, “We continue to BUILD, and continue to hire.”
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