Crypto hiring: Woes for Binance, Binance.US continue

Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder is on the outs, with general counsel Norman Reed stepping up to replace him

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For three straight weeks, a narrative has been forming around Binance and Binance.US. 

Binance is alleged to be hemorrhaging high level employees left and right, which has led many to speculate about what could be in store for the world’s largest crypto exchange.

Brian Shroder, who has been the CEO of Binance.US since 2021, left this week along with a third of the company’s employees who were laid off simultaneously.

Shroder made it a little over three months after the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Binance, BAM Trading and Binance.US, accusing the trio of firms of mishandling customer funds and failing to register as securities dealers. 

Shroder himself hasn’t commented on why he left Binance.US, but Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao addressed the issue on X, formerly Twitter, claiming that the former chief executive is simply “taking a deserved break.”

“The crypto market is in a different place now than it was two years ago, with a rapidly evolving and increasingly hostile regulatory environment. Norman Reed – former SEC, New York Fed, Ripple, and DTCC executive – is the right person to lead @BinanceUS in this market,” Zhao wrote Friday.

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Zhao, however, made no mention of the reported exits of Krishna Juvvadi, the head of legal at Binance.US, and Sidney Majalya, the chief risk officer.

The apparent departure of Juvvadi and Majalya was reported by the Wall Street Journal just days after Shroder’s fate was disclosed. 

Last week, three executives left Binance. And the week before, it lost its APAC-chief.

Binance.US alum finds gig

As Binance.US deals with three high-profile executives leaving the company, a former employee found new work at international law firm O’Melveny.

Brian Brooks, who had a short stint as CEO of Binance.US in 2021, rejoined O’Melveny after he served as a managing partner of the firm from 1994 to 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The University of Chicago-educated lawyer stepped down from his leadership role at Binance.US after just three months, citing strategic differences with his colleagues. 

Brooks has had a storied career in law, finance and government. 

He was the chief legal officer at Coinbase before Paul Grewal took over the role in Sept. 2020. 

During the Trump Administration, Brooks was the acting Comptroller of the Currency as well as a board member on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Fannie Mae. Previously, under President Barack Obama, Brooks was an executive vice president at Fannie Mae as well. 

Other notable hires

  • The successor to bankrupt crypto lender Celsius, NewCo, has appointed Former Algorand CEO Steve Kokinos as CEO. 
  • Yuga Labs, the firm behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, hired Lorenzo Colaiori as animation director.
  • Binance promoted Rachel Conlan to Chief Marketing Officer. Conlan, who was previously at OKX, was originally hired as the vice president of global marketing in June 2023.
  • Blockchain.com made two key hires in its institutional sales and derivatives departments respectively. 

Updated Sept. 18, 2023 at 1:58 pm ET: Previous version of the story identified O’Melveny as a “Manhattan law firm.” O’Melveny is not based in Manhattan but has an office there.


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