Changpeng Zhao, the former CEO of Binance, stood down in a momentous turn of events after pleading guilty to federal criminal charges. On Tuesday, Zhao announced the appointment of Richard Teng, the former CEO of Abu Dhabi Global Market, as the new CEO of his co-founded cryptocurrency exchange.
Who is Richard Teng?
Richard Teng, known for his time at Abu Dhabi Global Market and as Binance’s global head of regional markets, adds a wealth of knowledge to his new role. He previously worked as the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s director of corporate finance, expanding his financial regulation experience.
Zhao acknowledged responsibility for his leaving and the change, admitting that parting ways was extremely difficult. Zhao made these remarks following his plea deal agreement with the US Department of Justice, emphasizing his pride in the absence of claims of theft of user funds or market manipulation.
Despite his unwillingness to take on the CEO role in another firm, Zhao suggested that he could teach and coach new entrepreneurs privately, building on his expertise to steer them away from potential mistakes.
Penalties and Charges of Binance:
Binance was charged with three criminal offenses, operating an unauthorized money transmission business, violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and conspiracy. Binance agreed to pay $4.3 billion in fines and forfeiture as part of the settlement.
Zhao pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act and the Department of Justice recommended a fine of $50 million. Zhao is being held on a $175 million personal recognizance bond secured by $15 million in cash while awaiting his sentence on February 23.
Among these changes, Teng’s appointment as CEO is a watershed moment for Binance. Richard Teng, described as a highly qualified leader by Zhao, expressed his commitment to upholding the company’s ethics while pursuing growth and innovation in a statement on X.
Richard Teng described his priorities as maintaining user trust in the company’s financial soundness, engaging with regulators to respect global standards and cultivating partnerships to accelerate the implementation of Web3 technology.
Zhao expressed his continued confidence in Teng’s abilities to guide Binance toward more security, transparency, compliance and growth. Teng’s leadership is expected to determine Binance’s direction while also ensuring the company’s commitment to stakeholders and innovation.
Binance has entered a new era with the hiring of Richard Teng as CEO, signaling a strategic shift toward reinforcing trust, compliance, and growth in the developing cryptocurrency market.