Binance US CEO Brian Shroder Steps Down Amid Layoffs: Bloomberg
Binance US President and CEO Brian Shroder has resigned from the company, according to a Bloomberg report subsequently confirmed by Decrypt on Tuesday. The news of his departure comes as Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao has worked to dismiss negative news or FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) about his crypto empire.
Taking over Shroder’s position is Binance US Chief Legal Officer Norman Reed. In addition to Shroder’s departure, Binance US is going through another round of layoffs, cutting over 100 positions, one-third of its staff.
Launched in 2019, Binance US is the Florida-based U.S. arm of the Binance trading ecosystem. While Binance US does not have the volume of its parent company, it allows US citizens access to the Binance brand when they would otherwise be cut off due to legal restrictions.
Binance has lost other top executives this year, including global head of product Mayur Kamat, general counsel Hon Ng, chief strategy officer Patrick Hillmann, and SVP for compliance Steven Christie.
Shroder took over the role of CEO of Binance US in September 2021 after the departure of then-CEO Brian Brooks and the firm’s first CEO, Catherine Coley, earlier that year.
“There have been a lot of negative news/rumors, bank runs, lawsuits, closing of fiat channels, product wind downs, employee turnover, exit markets, etc.,” Zhao wrote on Twitter. “Guess what we don’t have? No liquidity issues. All withdrawals (and deposits) are properly handled. All customer funds are #SAFU, and 100% reserved.”
In June, Binance entered a legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused the cryptocurrency exchange and its CEO of violating U.S. securities rules—including selling unregistered crypto assets and failing to restrict U.S. investors from accessing the Binance.com platform.
“We allege that Zhao and the Binance entities not only knew the rules of the road, but they also consciously chose to evade them and put their customers and investors at risk—all in an effort to maximize their own profits,” the Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Gurbir S. Grewal, said at the time.
“Shark Tank” star and entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary predicted the SEC’s lawsuit would starve Binance of oxygen.
In December, during a Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing, O’Leary, a former ambassador and equity holder for Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, accused Binance of deliberately causing the collapse of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange after Zhao said on Twitter that Binance would liquidate its FTX FTT token positions in November. FTX collapsed soon after.
In June, amid continuing SEC troubles, Binance US transitioned to a “crypto-only” platform after announcing it would suspend dollar deposits and temporarily halt fiat (USD) withdrawals. Last month, Binance announced the appointment of Kristen Hecht as the company’s new compliance and money laundering reporting officer.
Last week, during a Twitter Spaces, Zhao shrugged off naysayers, saying that Binance is “way ahead of the game in terms of regulatory compliance.” Zhao accused his critics of attempting to paint Binance as another FTX.
Despite this latest executive departure and its legal troubles with the SEC, Binance remains the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume.
“We are a much stronger company today than we were two years ago, I think,” Zhao said.