Binance announcement shocked everyone by revealing on Tuesday that its CEO, Changpeng Zhao (also known as CZ), has officially resigned. This decision comes after the United States Department of Justice announced charges against both Zhao and the exchange itself.
In a tweet, Zhao expressed his regret and took full responsibility for the mistakes made by Binance.
In his place, Richard Teng will be taking over as CEO of Binance. Teng joined the company in 2021 as the CEO of its Singapore branch and was recently appointed as Global Head of Regional Markets in May.
According to CZ, Teng is a highly qualified leader with over 30 years of experience in the financial services and regulatory sector. He believes that Teng will successfully guide Binance through its next phase of growth and ensure the company’s commitment to security, transparency, compliance, and expansion.
As part of the settlement, Zhao steps down as CEO of the exchange and is barred from being an executive for at least three years after an independent monitor is appointed. However, he will remain the majority shareholder and serve as a consultant for “historical areas of the business”, according to Binance.
Richard Teng, the new Binance CEO, tweeted shortly after Zhao and commented on his plans ahead. Teng expressed his humility and honor in taking on the role of Binance’s new CEO.
He acknowledged the trust placed on the exchange by its 150 million users and thousands of employees and promised to continue meeting and exceeding their expectations while upholding the core mission of “the freedom of money”. With CZ’s support and the leadership team’s backing, Teng is confident in leading Binance to even greater heights.
As for his future plans, Zhao mentioned taking a break and focusing on other interests in the crypto and tech industries. He also shared his thoughts on potentially becoming a minority shareholder in DeFi and Web3 startups and providing guidance as a mentor to upcoming entrepreneurs.
Zhao’s guilty plea and resignation come following years of dismissive responses to various accusations of wrongdoing at the company. In January, Zhao wrote that he planned to tweet the number “4” every time such accusations were made and that doing so would indicate to followers that they should “ignore FUD, fake news, attacks, etc.”
During the court hearing in Seattle, Zhao admitted to anti-money laundering and sanctions violations. The U.S. Treasury Department took action against Binance for failing to prevent and report suspicious transactions with terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. As part of the settlement, official Binance announcement revealed that it will pay a $3.4 billion penalty to FinCEN and $968 million to OFAC, along with implementing compliance measures and undergoing monitoring for five years.