For the second time in less than a month, Binance is in the news. Following a massive lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and an investigation from the Justice Department into its CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), a slew of senior executives at the crypto exchange have reportedly decided to leave.
Departures of Key Executives at Binance Amidst DOJ Probe
Former Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillman confirms his departure, while Fortune reported that General Counsel Han Ng and Senior Vice President for Compliance Steven Christie have also left en masse. Matthew Price, who had served as Binance’s Global Head of Intelligence and Investigations, had earlier all left the exchange—their exits reportedly being a reaction to CZ’s response to the DOJ’s probe into himself and his exchange.
Recently, the SEC alleged that Binance had mishandled client assets between its international platform, U.S. platforms, and other Zhao-controlled firms, while also violating sanctions laws. Hillman made it clear on Twitter, however, that his departure was unrelated to CZ’s alleged mishandling of the exchange’s legal and compliance units—explaining that his wife will soon give birth to their second child, and that he was stepping aside at the “right time.”
New General Counsel and CFO Appointed Amid Turmoil
CZ responded to these reports with the cryptic number ‘4’—a Zhao-coined crypto slang term to ignore FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) surrounding his exchange. “Yes, there is turnover (at every company). But the reasons dreamed up by the “news” are completely wrong,” he wrote on Twitter. “As markets and the global environment for crypto changes, as our organization evolves, and as personal situations change, there is turnover at every company.”
CZ further disputed any notion of a mass exodus at Binance, despite four executives having left the company in less than two months, and pointed to the cryptocurrency exchange having grown from 30 to 8,000 employees in less than six years. He clarified that reporters exaggerated the truth and that the executives did not resign within the same week.
Lawsuits and investigations caused turmoil in Binance’s executive ranks, prompting efforts to rebuild legal and regulatory teams. According to Bloomberg, Binance’s head of legal for APAC and MENA, Eleanor Hughes, will become the new general counsel. Meanwhile, CFO Noah Perlamn, who joined as chief compliance officer in February, will remain with the company.
Uncertainty Surrounds Binance’s Fate as Investigations Continue
The uncertain fate of Binance has inevitably had an effect on its native crypto token BNB. Since Fortune’s report, the price of the token has dropped by 2%. The coming months will be critical for the crypto exchange and its founder. Amid investigations by the SEC, DOJ, and other regulators worldwide, CZ and his team at Binance face significant defense challenges. The stablecoin Tether [USDT] has already promised to support the reportedly “cash-strapped” Binance in its legal proceedings, but the exchange’s public image has suffered a heavy blow.
As the crypto market and global environment evolve, individuals and organizations must adapt continuously to stay relevant. Binance has seen senior executives leave and faces an uncertain future, shining a spotlight on CZ and his team. The exchange is committed to disproving FUD broadcasts and U.S. allegations, asserting their accuracy.
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