CZ denies rumors senior Binance executives resigning due to ongoing regulatory challenges
At least three executives from the company's legal and compliance teams are set to depart.
General counsel Han Ng, chief strategy officer Patrick Hillmann, and SVP for Compliance Steven Christie are among those who have decided to exit the firm. Fortune noted that Matthew Price, head of global investigations and intelligence, recently left as well.
Fortune said that there is no indication that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) intends to step down from his position as CEO of the company in the near future.
CZ responded to the news by stating,
“More FUD about some departures. Yes, there is turnover (at every company). But the reasons dreamed up by the “news” are completely wrong.”
According to Fortune’s sources, the executives decided to leave the company largely because of Zhao’s handling of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). This investigation, reportedly in progress for over a year, alleges that Binance tried to mislead U.S. regulators, engaged in money laundering, and allowed sanctions violations.
Separate reports from Reuters in December 2022 suggested that Binance was under investigation by the DOJ. The company seemingly denied this suggestion. In one statement, representatives said they had no insight into the DOJ’s “inner workings” and also claimed it would be inappropriate to comment on the matter regardless.
Departures occur alongside regulatory challenges.
The staff departures concern executives who are critical to the company’s legal and compliance units, often the first point of contact with regulators.
Some of the supposedly departing staff engaged with the public extensively. Hillman, especially, commented on controversies related to Binance’s stablecoin transfers, rumors of insider trading, and company layoffs in recent months. Many of his comments concerned controversial topics raised by mainstream media outlets.
Binance and its related companies otherwise face recent charges from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Those cases began in March and June, respectively.
It remains to be seen how these developments will affect the company’s future, its reputation, and the broader cryptocurrency market.
CryptoSlate attempted to contact Binance to verify the staff departures but had not received any comment by press time.
UPDATE July 7, 10:55 GMT: Added CZ response and amended title.
UPDATE July 7: 18:35 GMT: Hillman confirmed that he is leaving Binance but said he is doing so on “good terms.” Christie also confirmed that he is leaving Binance but said that the reasons for his departure “are very different than what was reported.”