Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao sought to dismiss concerns around executive departures, claiming they are moving into bigger roles outside Binance, and said reports are market FUD.
The world’s leading crypto exchange by trading volume, Binance, has seen the departure of 10 key executives from various departments in the first nine months of 2023. While executive departures from a company are the norm based on their preset contractual obligations, the number of executives leaving Binance amid growing regulatory troubles has been a key talking point in the crypto community.
The latest to join the list is Helen Hai, executive vice president of Binance, who announced her resignation from her post on Sept. 6. On the same day, Gleb Kostarev, vice president of Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Australia and New Zealand at Binance, also announced his resignation, as did Russia and CIS general manager Vladimir Smerkis.
The list of key executives to leave Binance in 2023:
- Sept. 6, 2023: Helen Hai announces her resignation.
- Sept. 6, 2023: Vladimir Smerkis announces his departure.
- Sept. 6, 2023: Gleb Kostarev announces his resignation.
- Sept. 4, 2023: Mayur Kamat, product lead at Binance, announces his resignation.
- Aug. 31, 2023: Leon Foong, head of Asia-Pacific at Binance, announces his resignation.
- July 7, 2023: Steven Christie, senior vice president for compliance at Binance, announces his resignation.
- July 6, 2023: Patrick Hillmann, chief strategy officer of Binance, announces his resignation.
- July 6, 2023: Han Ng, general counsel at Binance, announces his resignation.
- July 6, 2023: Steve Milton, global vice president of marketing and communications at Binance, announces his resignation.
- July 6, 2023: Matthew Price, senior director of global investigations and intelligence at Binance, announces his resignation.
Four top executives from Binance reportedly all left on the same day after Binance’s response to the United States Department of Justice investigation. A Fortune report claimed that these top executives were not happy with the crypto exchange’s response. However, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao dismissed all such reports, labeling them as fear, uncertainty and doubt, or FUD.
4. More FUD about some departures. Yes, there is turnover (at every company). But the reasons dreamed up by the “news” are completely wrong.
As an organization that has grown from 30 to 8000 people in 6 years, from 0 to the world’s largest crypto exchange in less than 5 months…
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) July 6, 2023
Zhao took to X (formerly Twitter) to address the growing chatter around the departure of key executives again on Sept. 6. While reposting a Cointelegraph report on the Kostarev exit, Zhao said that many members of Binance are moving into bigger roles, some outside of Binance as well.
Some of our team members are growing into bigger roles, some outside of #Binance. Some are doing new exciting ventures. I even made intros/references for many of them. We are supportive of everyone. We are one community.
This also creates more growth opportunities within…
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) September 6, 2023
Cointelegraph reached out to Binance to inquire about community concerns around executive departures, but Binance said it didn’t have any comments to offer.
Most of the executives leaving the crypto exchange have said that their departure was routine and that they share a good relationship with the crypto exchange and its CEO. However, the crypto community has become a bit more skeptical about exchanges post-FTX collapse.
Binance has, over the years, faced regulatory troubles in more than a dozen countries. The crypto exchange onboarded many former government officials and compliance officers to help it mitigate the regulatory complexities; however, in 2023, many of these executives left the crypto exchange.