Binance.US CEO departs as crypto company cuts a third of its workforce

NEW YORK (AP) — The CEO of Binance's U.S. affiliate has departed the crypto trading platform amid another round of job cuts.

Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder is no longer with the company, a spokesperson confirmed to The Associated Press Wednesday. The cryptocurrency exchange did not specify when or why Shroder departed, but said that chief legal officer Norman Reed is now serving as interim CEO.

Shroder joined the Binance.US as president in September 2021 and was named CEO the following month.

Shroder's departure coincides with the elimination of about one-third of Binance.US’s workforce, with layoffs impacting more than 100 employees.

“The actions we are taking 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 spokesperson said in a statement.

Binance.US also pointed to action taken by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year, arguing that the agency's “aggressive attempts to cripple our industry and the resulting impacts on our business have real-world consequences... and this is an unfortunate example of that."

Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, and its founder Changpeng Zhao have faced extensive litigation from U.S. regulators this year.

In March, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued the company with charges of numerous exchange violations. And in June, the SEC accused Binance and its owner of misusing investor funds, operating as an unregistered exchange and violating a slew of federal securities laws.

In a statement at the time, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said that Zhao and Binance “engaged in an extensive web of deception, conflicts of interest, lack of disclosure, and calculated evasion of the law" — adding that “the public should beware of investing any of their hard-earned assets with or on these unlawful platforms.”

The SEC also sued Binance.US operator BAM Trading Services. Weeks later, a court deal allowed the cryptocurrency exchange to continue to U.S. operations as it battles the SEC's charges.

This week’s job cuts are not the first seen at Binance.US this year. An unconfirmed number of layoffs was seen at the company following the SEC's June suit, according to Reuters.

Binance.US maintains that it operates independently from Binance, but Zhao is the majority owner for both.