Coinbase Chief Compliance Officer Departs Amid Wider Exodus

Around 5% of staff have left since CEO Brian Armstrong declared an apolitical stance at the company.

AccessTimeIconOct 14, 2020 at 7:02 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:09 a.m. UTC
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Coinbase’s chief compliance officer (CCO), Jeff Horowitz, is leaving the firm after two years.

  • First reported by The Block, Horowitz joins at least 60 other employees in leaving the exchange – roughly 5% of the company's headcount.
  • The majority of those departures come in response to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong recently declaring an "apolitical" non-activist stance against social issues at the company. It was not immediately clear if Horowitz is leaving for the same reason.
  • The situation began to bubble with some employees wanting a more public stance on issues like Black Lives Matter early in the summer. It finally reached a point when Armstrong told those who did not agree with his company's position to take a severance package.
  • Horowitz joined Coinbase in 2018 as the firm's first CCO, where he was charged with guiding the exchange's anti-money laundering policies and handling regulatory compliance.
  • He previously spent 12 years leading the compliance team at Pershing, a BNY Mellon company, and also one of the largest providers of brokerage custody.
  • During his career, Horowitz also took efforts to shape financial regulation in the U.S. with his involvement in industry associations such as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
  • "We’re grateful for his service and wish him the best in the future," a Coinbase spokesperson said. "While we conduct a search for our new CCO, our chief legal officer, Paul Grewal, will take over day-to-day responsibility."

Nikhilesh De contributed reporting.

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