Binance names Richard Teng CEO amid Changpeng Zhao’s forced departure

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The house that CZ built will now be helmed by its head of regional markets, as the U.S. Department of Justice has barred the former CEO from his position.

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Binance names Richard Teng CEO amid Changpeng Zhao’s forced departure

Binance has named its head of regional markets outside of the United States, Richard Teng, as its new CEO. The change comes as founder and former CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has resigned and pleaded guilty to charges levied against him by the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Today, I stepped down as CEO of Binance. Admittedly, it was not easy to let go emotionally. But I know it is the right thing to do. I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility. This is best for our community, for Binance, and for myself.

Binance is no longer a baby. It is…

— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 21, 2023

As Cointelegraph reported earlier, CZ and Binance have agreed to a plea deal with the DOJ over alleged Anti-Money Laundering violations. The resulting settlement will cost the company $4.3 billion and, reportedly, bars CZ from serving as an executive at any cryptocurrency company. He’ll also be on the hook for a $50 million fine assessed directly to him. However, he won’t have to give up his shares and will apparently serve no jail time.

Teng’s promotion was confirmed by former CEO CZ in a post on X coinciding with the start of a DOJ press event announcing the actions against Binance. 

According to CZ:

“Richard is a highly qualified leader and, with over three decades of financial services and regulatory experience, he will navigate the company through its next period of growth. He will ensure Binance delivers on our next phase of security, transparency, compliance, and growth.”

Teng also posted on X approximately 15 minutes after the DOJ presser went live.

It is an honour and with the deepest humility that I step into the role of Binance’s new CEO.

We operate the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume. The trust placed on us by our 150m users and thousands of employees is a responsibility that I take seriously and hold…

— Richard Teng (@_RichardTeng) November 21, 2023

In his first public communique as CEO, Teng sought to reassure Binance users and establish a clear path from the day’s events. He laid out three areas of focus for himself and the company, starting with “reassuring users that they can remain confident in the financial strength, security and safety of the company.”

This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.