• Binance’s US division has been on the hunt for a new CEO after Brian Books abruptly quit the company
  • Brooks, with his experience in DC’s regulatory circles, was a replacement for Catherine Cooley who had the job between 2019 and 2021

Binance’s US arm once again has a new CEO, but this time it’s confirmed just to be a temporary appointment. 

Joshua Sroge, Binance.US’s CFO, has been appointed as its interim CEO according to an update on Sroge’s Linkedin. The company has yet to make an official announcement, though The Block initially reported on Sroge’s appointment late Monday.

Sroge has been with the company since January 2020, shortly after Binance opened its regulatory-compliant US division.

Joshua Sroge, Binance.US’s CFO
Joshua Sroge, Binance.US’s CFO and now interim CEO

By its title, Sroge’s appointment is only intended to be temporary unlike his predecessors which only held the job briefly before disappearing silently or publicly announcing their intention to quit.

Catherine Coley, a former Ripple executive and VP at tech-focused Silicon Valley Bank, was the US-exchange’s first CEO holding the position since its inception until around May 2021 when former head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks was appointed to the job. Coley remained quiet after Brooks’ appointment, silencing her once-active Twitter account and keeping the title of CEO on her Linkedin until recently, leading some to believe that she was engaged in a legal dispute with the exchange about her ousting.    

Regardless of how Coley’s ousting was handled, Brooks was a logical appointment for the role given his experience as a regulator. For an exchange that was looking to ‘go legit’ after being a regulatory pariah, there was no better hire than Brooks — the former top boss at the nation’s banking regulator.

“I wouldn’t have taken this job if I didn’t have a strong commitment from the board to lead a strong compliance program,” he said at the time.

But after three months Brooks was out, wishing his colleagues at the exchange success, despite “differences over strategic direction” just as Binance faces its most mighty challenge yet with probes by the US DOJ, IRS, scrutiny in Hong Kong, regulatory heat in the United Kingdom, outright bans in Malaysia and criminal complaints in Thailand.

For his part, the company CEO Changpeng Zhao has said publicly that Binance will be “pivoting from reactive compliance to proactive compliance”.

BNB, its eponymous token, appears to be unaffected by the news and its down 0.8% trading at $420, according to CoinGecko. The token is up nearly 27% during the last two weeks of trading. 

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  • Blockworks
    Sam Reynolds is a Taipei-based reporter, covering digital assets and regulation throughout Asia. Before joining Blockworks he was an editor at Forkast News and an analyst with IDC.