Multiple senior executives at Binance have recently left the company amid regulatory developments, according to reports on July 6. The departing executives include General Counsel Han Ng, Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann, SVP for Compliance Steven Christie, and Matthew Price, the head of global investigations and intelligence. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), however, has shown no intention of stepping down from his position in the near future.
Fortune magazine, citing insider sources, reported that the executives decided to leave due to concerns over Zhao’s handling of an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The investigation, allegedly underway for over a year, accuses Binance of attempting to deceive U.S. regulators, involvement in money laundering, and violation of sanctions. In December 2022, Reuters had already suggested that the DOJ was investigating Binance, but the company denied the claims, stating they had no insight into the DOJ’s workings and that commenting on the matter would be inappropriate.
These departures come at a time when Binance and its affiliated companies are facing regulatory challenges. The departing executives held crucial roles within the company’s legal and compliance units, which often serve as the primary point of contact with regulators. Patrick Hillmann, in particular, has been vocal on various controversies involving Binance, such as stablecoin transfers, rumors of insider trading, and company layoffs. Many of his comments addressed contentious issues raised by mainstream media outlets.
Binance is currently dealing with charges brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The CFTC case began in March, followed by the SEC case in June. The implications of these developments on Binance’s future, reputation, and the wider cryptocurrency market remain uncertain.