Crypto Exchange FTX.US President Brett Harrison Stepping Down

Zach Dexter, the CEO of FTX's U.S. derivatives unit, will take over Harrison's role, according to a source.

AccessTimeIconSep 27, 2022 at 3:41 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 27, 2022 at 10:28 p.m. UTC

Nelson Wang is CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.

CORRECTION (Sept. 27, 2022 17:04 UTC): A previous version of this story misidentified Harrison as the president of FTX. He is the president of FTX.US.

Brett Harrison, the president of giant crypto exchange FTX's U.S. operations, is stepping down from his role, he announced on Twitter on Tuesday morning eastern time.

In addition to being president of FTX.US, Harrison also ran FTX Stocks and FTX U.S. Derivatives.

“Over the next few months I’ll be transferring my responsibilities and moving into an advisory role at the company,” Harrison wrote in a tweet thread.

Zach Dexter, the CEO of FTX's U.S. derivatives unit, will take over Harrison's role overseeing the whole of FTX.US, according to a source familiar with the matter. Dexter was previously the CEO of LedgerX, and joined FTX in October 2021 after the completion of FTX’s acquisition of the regulated futures exchange.

Harrison's departure is one of several in a recent spate of high-profile resignations in the crypto industry. Earlier on Tuesday, the CEO of bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius Network, Alex Mashinsky, also announced he would be stepping down. Last week, the controversial CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, Jesse Powell, announced that he would be handing over the reins to COO Dave Ripley. And in late August, Sam Trabucco, the co-CEO of Alameda Research – the trading firm founded by FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried – resigned, leaving Caroline Ellison as the sole CEO.

August also saw the resignation of MicroStrategy's longtime CEO, Michael Saylor, although he has taken on the role of executive chairman at the firm he founded, and the exit of the CEO of troubled crypto broker Genesis, Michael Moro. (Genesis is owned by Digital Currency Group, which is also the parent of CoinDesk.)

Harrison had served as president of FTX.US since May 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile. Previously he had worked for almost two years at market maker Citadel Securities and before that for 7 1/2 years as the head of trading systems technology at investment firm Jane Street.

Harrison didn't say what he else he would be doing next, but noted that “I’m remaining in the industry with the goal of removing technological barriers to full participation in and maturation of global crypto markets, both centralized and decentralized."

Tracy Wang contributed reporting to this article.

UPDATE (Sept. 27, 15:52 UTC): Added more background on Harrison.

UPDATE (Sept. 27, 16:27 UTC): Added context about other recent executive resignations in the crypto industry.

UPDATE (Sept. 28, 00:28 UTC): Added information about Zach Dexter taking over Harrison's role.


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CoinDesk - Unknown

Nelson Wang is CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Nelson Wang is CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.