The US head of crypto exchange Binance left after just 3 months in his role

Brian Brooks
Brian Brooks CoinDesk/YouTube
  • Brian Brooks resigned from his position as CEO of Binance US after just three months in the position.
  • In a tweet on Friday, he cited differences over strategic direction as his reason for leaving.
  • Brooks has said managing reputation and building trust with regulators were his biggest concerns in the role.
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Brian Brooks has resigned as chief executive of Binance’s US arm, stepping down after just over three months in the role, as the crypto exchange seeks to double down on its global compliance efforts.

The crypto enthusiast, who joined Binance US as CEO in May 2021, signaled a divergence of opinion as the reason for his departure, even as he remained positive in his farewell announcement on Friday.

“Despite differences over strategic direction, I wish my former colleagues much success. Exciting new things to come!” he said in a tweet.

His sudden departure comes as Binance.com deals with intense scrutiny of its operations from regulators worldwide, including the UK, Germany, Japan, and Hong Kong. In July, Binance said it planned to double the size of its global compliance team by the end of 2021 to include more qualified and experienced advisors.

While Binance US and Binance.com are linked in that both are majority owned by Changpeng Zhao, they function independently. Brooks has said Binance is most likely to give incumbent leader Coinbase “a run for its money.”

Building trust with regulators and managing reputation was among his biggest concerns as CEO, Brooks said in April ahead of starting the Binance US role.

From September 2018, Brooks was chief legal officer at Coinbase, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, where he led compliance, internal audit, and government relations. He was there until taking a role as acting comptroller of the currency in the Trump administration in May 2020.

In response to the resignation announcement, Zhao said Brooks’ departure would have no impact on customers. “I remain confident in Binance.US’s business and its commitment to serve its customers and innovate,” he said in a tweet.

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