Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has shrugged off news of top executives leaving the exchange, reportedly over his handling of regulatory investigations. Zhao said it was “FUD,” claiming the reasons for the execs’ departures are “dreamed up” and “completely wrong.”
Top Binance Executives Bow Out
A surprising number of key executive personnel at Binance have resigned from their posts.
According to a June 6 report from Fortune citing an internal source, executives in senior leadership positions, including chief strategy officer Patrick Hillmann, general counsel Han Ng, senior director of investigations Matthew Price, and senior vice president for compliance Steven Christie exited the exchange over CEO Changpeng Zhao’s response to the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation. The DoJ is purportedly probing Binance for allowing Russians to use the crypto exchange in violation of U.S. sanctions.
The news publication also labelled the top personnel’s decision to resign from the exchange “a management and strategic crisis for Binance”.
Hillmann, however, said in a tweet that he was leaving Binance on good terms after a two-year tenure and it’s “simply time for me to move on to the next challenge”, adding that his wife was about to give birth to their second child, “so the time is right for me to step aside.”
“More FUD about some departures. Yes, there is turnover (at every company). But the reasons dreamed up by the “news” are completely wrong,” CZ tweeted in response to the high-profile departures. “As markets and the global environment for crypto changes, as our organization evolves, and as personal situations change, there is turnover at every company.”
Notably, there have also been replacements following these resignations. A different report from Bloomberg, also citing a source, noted that Eleanor Hughes, previously Binance’s Head of Legal for APAC and MENA regions, is set to become the new general counsel, stepping into Ng’s shoes. Noah Perlamn, who joined Binance as the chief compliance officer in February, will stay at the company.
The management reshuffles at Binance come as the exchange is the subject of enforcement action from multiple regulators. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Binance on allegations of violating federal securities laws and misusing customer funds. The world’s largest exchange was also accused by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) of failing to register properly before offering commodities trading services.