Following abrupt CEO departure, Binance.US CFO steps up – CFO Dive


Dive Brief:

  • Following last week’s abrupt departure of Brian Brooks from his CEO post at Binance.US, the crypto exchange has named its CFO, Joshua Sroge, its interim CEO, company representatives confirmed to CFO Dive in an email Tuesday morning. The company declined to comment further. 

  • Sroge, CFO of Binance.US since January 2020, is one of the four-year-old firm’s longest-tenured employees. The board has picked him to lead the firm, which is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trading volume, until a permanent chief executive is named.

  • Brian Brooks, previously the acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, announced Aug. 6 he would be leaving Binance.US after less than four months.

Dive Insight:

Brooks announced his resignation in a Tweet on Friday. “Letting you all know I have resigned as CEO of @BinanceUS,” he said. “Despite differences over strategic direction, I wish my former colleagues much success. Exciting new things to come!”

Prior to the OCC, Brooks was the chief legal officer at Coinbase, Binance.US’s main competitor. Lawmakers and regulators have recently scrutinized both platforms’ operations, Banking Dive reported.

In the U.S., Binance, which hosts 13.5 million active users, has been the subject of an investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, concerning whether its users trade derivatives despite CFTC regulations. In May, the Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service began investigating the firm for money laundering. 

Throughout his tenure, Brooks often declared Binance.US, which is the American subsidiary of China-based Binance, owned by founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao, to be a standalone entity.

“Brian’s work for Binance.US has been invaluable and we hope he will continue to be an integral part of the crypto industry’s growth, advocating for regulations that move our industry forward,” Zhao tweeted last week, adding that “this transition will not impact BinanceUS customers in any way.”

Sroge arrived at Binance.US after five years as a principal at FireStone CFO, a management consultancy focused on budgeting, accounting, and finance support. 

Before FireStone, Sroge was the chief accounting officer at Swiss crypto firm ShapeShift, which, during his tenure, grew from 15 to 115 employees. He is also a partner at BXE Capital, a cryptocurrency investment fund focused on investments in blockchain technology. 

Binance.US has yet to release a statement formally naming Sroge interim CEO, though he has updated his role at the firm on his LinkedIn account

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