Brian Brooks Quits As Binance.US CEO Due to Conflict with Changpeng Zhao


Brian Brooks’ resignation as CEO of the US division of Binance was due to a conflict with the founder of the exchange CZ.

August 20, 2021, | AtoZ MarketsAfter serving as the CEO of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance.US for less than four months, Brian Brooks resigned citing “differences over strategic direction.”

However, according to the  New York Magazine, and the New York Times, his departure was due to a conflict with the founder of the exchange Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.

Why Brian Brooks resigned as Binance.US CEO

Brooks, the former head of the legal department of Coinbase exchange and managed to serve as the controller of the US currency, joined Binance in early May. It was assumed that he would draw on previous experience to ensure contact with the American authorities. Nevertheless, he unexpectedly announced his resignation from office earlier this month.

Brooks intended to implement a multi-tiered strategy that would have Binance.US distancing itself from its parent company, according to sources. To do this, he planned to form an independent board of directors and raise $100 million, which would allow the division to finance its activities on its own. Among other things, Binance’s technology solutions were to be ported to servers in the United States.

In July, Brooks said that the process was already underway, “therefore, relatively soon, this relationship will disappear.”

The transfer was the final piece of the puzzle that Brooks believed would make Binance’s regulatory issues a thing of the past. But in early August, as Brooks completed the plan, CZ suddenly hit the stop. The strategy was rejected, and Brooks saw no other way to solve the regulatory problems of the company and therefore could not continue working,” writes New York Magazine, citing an unnamed source.

Read also: Binance Hires Greg Monahan to Strengthens AML Oversight

The New York Times gives its version of events. According to his publication, Brooks decided to leave after GreatPoint Ventures, which was supposed to be a key participant in the planned investment round, changed plans due to the alleged investigation of the American authorities against Binance.

Another factor that influenced her decision was Zhao’s ownership of a 90% stake in Binance.US. The investment round was supposed to be the first step towards a likely IPO in the future. The media also notes that recent events are calling into question the status of Binance.US as an independent entity.

Commenting on the relationship with Binance in May, Brooks said that the American exchange uses the brand and some technologies of the main platform, but acts independently:

This is not at all the same situation as if they owned us, because they are not.”

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