Binance.US CEO departs amid massive layoff

abdelaziz Fathi

Brian Shroder, the CEO of Binance’s U.S. affiliate, has left the company, and Norman Reed, Chief Legal Officer, is temporarily taking his place.

The leadership change coincides with another round of job cuts at Binance.US, with more than 100 positions, or about one-third of the workforce, being axed due to the impact of regulatory challenges. Binance.US, established in 2019 to serve U.S. users, operates independently from Binance Holdings.

“The Securities and Exchange Commission’s aggressive attempts to cripple our industry and the resulting impacts on our business have real-world consequences for American jobs and innovation, and this is an unfortunate example of that,” A Binance.US spokesperson said.

The former Ant Group and Uber executive has originally joined Binance’s US operations in 2021, replacing Brian Brooks who parted ways after just four months in the job.

Brooks, a former top US banking regulator and crypto enthusiast, said he resigned as chief executive due to differences over strategic direction. He left at a time when the parent cryptocurrency exchange has been dogged by regulatory issues around the world.

Shroder assumed the position after a highly productive role as head of business development and global partnerships at Ant Group. Prior to his time at China’s mega financial services firm, Shroder served as head of strategy and business development at Uber in their Asia Pacific region and was also a principal at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where he spent six years.

Earlier in July, Binance reportedly slashed its workforce by more than 1,000 positions amid its ongoing legal woes with the US regulators and as recession fears linger. However, the job cuts could eventually impact more than a third of the company’s staff, which prior to the layoffs was estimated to be around 8,000 employees.

In response to the increased regulatory scrutiny from US authorities, Binance.US and its founder Changpeng Zhao are reportedly looking at ways to decrease CZ’s ownership stake in the company.

Sources familiar with the matter told The Information that the American outpost of the world’s biggest crypto exchange has been actively exploring strategies to reduce Zhao’s dominant stake since last summer. This move, which was discussed even before the CFTC lawsuit, is seen as an attempt to improve the company’s reputation and standing with US regulators.

Executives at Binance.US are reportedly worried that their ability to obtain additional regulatory licenses and scale the business in the US may be impeded if CZ retains his majority stake. This concern was expressed in light of the ongoing regulatory scrutiny and Zhao’s connection to the parent company, which has been accused of operating illegally in the US.

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