Following days of cryptic and controversial tweets from former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), plus today’s revelation of shocking direct messages to a reporter, FTX’s newly-installed CEO took to Twitter to distance the firm from its founder and one-time poster child.
New CEO John J. Ray III used FTX’s official Twitter account to re-emphasize the change in leadership at the embattled exchange. Ray apparently doesn’t support Bankman-Fried’s newfound sense of transparency, as the former leader continues tweeting out apologies and other musings that grab headlines and rile up Crypto Twitter.
“As previously announced, Mr. Bankman-Fried resigned on November 11 from [FTX], FTX US, Alameda Research Ltd., and their, directly and indirectly, owned subsidiaries,” Ray’s tweeted statement reads. “Mr. Bankman-Fried has no ongoing role at [FTX], FTX US, or Alameda Research Ltd. and does not speak on their behalf.”
Attorney and new FTX CEO John Ray is no stranger to multi-billion-dollar companies that end up in bankruptcy. Ray previously oversaw the $23 billion bankruptcy proceedings of energy firm, Enron Corp.
The message from FTX’s new CEO comes after Vox posted an article containing a series of Twitter direct messages sent by Bankman-Fried (SBF) to a reporter last night. Amid a lengthy conversation, Vox asked SBF whether his focus on effective altruism and bailing out crypto companies was “mostly a front.”
“Yeah,” Bankman-Fried responded. “I mean, that’s not all of it, but it’s a lot.”
Today, SBF tweeted that he was talking to “a friend of mine” and that his messages “were not intended to be public, but I guess they are now.” He didn’t specifically name the Vox reporter, but his tweets came soon after the article’s publication. SBF’s shared DMs have further outraged many in the crypto industry.
Those messages and others that he’s shared publicly on Twitter are the latest in Bankman-Fried’s attempts to come clean about the sudden collapse of his former company. FTX’s unraveling has left potentially more than a million customers without access to their funds, and kicked off an apparent contagion that’s also impacting other crypto firms.
On November 13, two days after FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO. The former billionaire then began posting single-word and single-letter tweets that eventually would spell out, “What happened?”
“I’ll get to what happened,” Bankman-Fried continued, adding that he wanted to focus on the current situation. He ultimately began a lengthy thread on FTX and its associated trading firm, Alameda Research, both of which SBF co-founded.
“My goal—my one goal—is to do right by customers,” he said, claiming that he is meeting with regulators and doing what he can to help users affected by FTX’s collapse. However, Bankman-Fried’s penchant for public sharing does not appear to sit well with FTX’s new leadership.
Currently, Bankman-Fried is under supervision in the Bahamas after reports surfaced that he had intended to flee to Dubai, a country with no extradition agreement with the United States.
In December, the United States House of Representatives House Financial Services Committee will call Bankman-Fried to testify before Congress on the collapse of his once-prominent company.
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