Binance CEO responds to rumors, says US executive is ‘taking a deserved break’

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has shot down speculation surrounding the departure of Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder, noting that he is “taking a deserved break” after a successful stint at the company. 

Binance.US is a subsidiary of Binance Holdings, with the United States-based exchange seeing a handful of other top executives recently step down from the firm amid lawsuits from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). 

In a Sept. 15 statement via X (formerly Twitter), CZ urged people to “ignore FUD” around the recent shuffling of execs, as he suggested that Shroder was leaving the firm amicably after accomplishing everything he “set out to do when he joined two years ago.“

“Under his leadership, Binance.US raised capital, improved its product and service offerings, solidified internal processes, and gained significant market share, all of which helped to build a more resilient company for the benefit of customers. We are grateful for his contributions,” CZ said.

Binance is facing lawsuits from both the SEC and CFTC over several alleged violations of SEC and CFTC laws, including the alleged sale of unregistered securities and mishandling of customer funds. As part of its lawsuit, the SEC claimed that the U.S. and international branches of Binance have illegally commingled funds between each other.

Amid the lawsuit, Binance.US announced on Sept.13 that it was laying off a third of its staff and that Shroder was leaving his position as CEO. On Sept. 14, an additional two executive departures were reported as both head of legal Krishna Juvvadi and chief risk officer Sidney Majalya decided to quit the company. The departures fueled speculation on X that Binance may be facing worse legal troubles than previously understood.

Related: Binance.US not cooperating with investigation, US SEC says in filing

Seemingly referencing the lawsuits in his X post, CZ also asserted that the crypto market “is in a different place now than it was two years ago,” as crypto firms face an “increasingly hostile regulatory environment.” In his view, the new CEO for Binance.US, Norman Reed, is the “right person” to lead the US exchange in this new era.

Binance is the largest crypto exchange by volume in the world. It has come under increasing criticism since the third-largest exchange, FTX, went bankrupt in November and FTX executives were charged with fraud. Critics say that Binance has not been transparent enough about its business practices and has not proven that it is solvent. However, CZ has brushed off these concerns, stating that the firm has “no liquidity issues” and that claims against it are unfounded.