New York: Binance's Richard Teng has succeeded Changpeng Zhao as CEO of the world's largest crypto exchange after Zhao agreed to step down as part of a sweeping deal to resolve a US criminal investigation.
Teng assumes responsibility for navigating the company as the years-long US Justice Department investigation ends. He said in a post on X that he'll focus on reassuring Binance's 150 million users about its 'strength, security and safety' and collaborate with regulators 'to uphold high standards globally'.
Teng, a civil servant-turned-crypto executive, had become the frontrunner to take over as CEO as regulatory scrutiny of Binance and Zhao intensified across a number of key jurisdictions. Zhao in late May appointed him as head of all regional markets outside the US.
Teng - who holds a Master's degree in applied finance from the University of Western Australia - had held senior positions with Singapore's central bank, the Singapore stock exchange and Abu Dhabi's international free trade zone. He joined Binance in August 2021 as Singapore CEO.
Teng takes on the challenge of retaining customer confidence in Binance as digital-asset markets recover from a damaging 2022 rout that contributed to the blowup of rivals such Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX. While Binance remains the linchpin platform for crypto spot and derivatives trading, its dominance has declined amid a web of regulatory probes.
"To ensure a bright future, I intend to use everything I've learned over the past three decades of financial services and regulatory experience to guide our remarkable, innovative, and committed team," Teng said in the post on X.
Zhao pleaded guilty to anti-money laundering violations and agreed to pay a $50 million fine Tuesday under a deal worked out with the Justice Department designed to keep Binance operating.