Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder has left the crypto exchange after 2½ years, a spokesperson has confirmed.
His departure coincides with the layoffs of roughly 100 Binance.US employees, or about one-third of the company. That repesents the firm’s second round of layoffs since it was charged with several securities violations in June by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Norman Reed, Binance.US’s chief legal officer and general counsel, will step in as interim CEO.
Although Binance.US reached a deal with the SEC in June to avoid an asset freeze the regulator sought, the SEC’s investigation into Binance.US, Binance and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is ongoing.
Reed, who joined the crypto world in 2015 as Ripple’s general counsel, is an alum of the SEC, having spent six years as special counsel in its market regulation division.
Reed isn’t the first former regulator to run Binance.US. Brian Brooks, who helmed the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency during the Trump presidency, preceded Shroder as CEO. His run was short, however — only two months — before he left, citing “difference over strategic direction.”
In June testimony amid the SEC investigation, Brooks said, “What became clear to me at a certain point was CZ was the CEO of BAM Trading, not me.”
BAM Trading operates as Binance.US; and Brooks was referring to Zhao. The SEC’s June charges included allegations that Zhao secretly controlled Binance.US’s operations despite assertions that it was separate and independent.
Binance is also being investigated by the Justice Department.
Regarding layoffs, a Binance.US spokesperson told Bloomberg on Tuesday that such actions “provide Binance.US with more than seven years of financial runway and enable us to continue to serve our customers while we operate as a crypto-only exchange.”
“The SEC’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,” the spokesperson said.