Former US FTX Chairman Brett Harrison accused FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) of “gassing and manipulating” on Twitter. thread in january. 14. Harrison left FTX.US in September 2022, two months before SBF’s crypto empire collapsed.
Sharing his experience during his 17 months running FTX US, Harrison said the SBF resorted to cutting him out of crucial decisions about the US division of FTX when things soured between the two.
asked SBF former teammate Harrison To join FTX US “across the text” in late March 2021. Harrison joined the company in May and worked “largely independent” of SBF for the first few months.
But things changed as Harrison noted that the SBF made impactful decisions about FTX US “without warning” even though it is “rarely involved” in FTX.US business. As a result, by October 2021, The first wrote “obvious rifts” developed between Harrison and SBF.
Harrison began to push for the “establishment of separation and independence” of the executive branch, legal and developer teams for FTX US, but the SBF opposed this. Harrison wrote:
“I saw in that his early struggle [SBF’s] Total insecurity and stubbornness when his decisions are questioned, his grudges, and his mood swings. I realized it wasn’t who I remember.”
At the time, the SBF’s influence on FTX partners, the media, venture capital firms, and the traditional financial industry was “widespread and steady,” Harrison writes. Moreover, the SBF was a prominent political donor and dined with Washingtonians. Elaborating on his dilemma, Harrison added:
“Confronting an insecure and proud manager is hard under any circumstances. But it’s almost impossible when every major voice of culture and commerce stigmatizes you every day with a narrative suggesting that if you *don’t* agree with your manager, you’re *clearly* wrong.”
Harrison stood up to him despite how he feltEnormous pressure not to disagree” with the SBF. And he wasn’t the only FTX US employee to disagree with the SBF’s decisions.
Harrison recounted that the experience and understanding of US FTX employees were frequently treated as “irrelevant and worthless”, which made it “extremely frustrating” for all the staff.
Over the following months, Harrison called for “implementation ofReasonable staffing policy” and hiring experienced officers for the C-suite at FTX US. He also called for “transparent communication” between the SBF and the US division’s leadership team.
Harrison argued that FTX co-founder Gary Wang and chief engineering responsibilities Nishad Singh be “formally defined” and shared among a larger group. In addition, Harrison proposed extending “administrative responsibility and controls” outside of the SBF and its inner circle.
Harrison writes that these controversies prompted an unpleasant response from the SBF.
“Sam was uncomfortable with the conflict. He responded at times with disorganized hostility, at times with gaslighting and manipulation, but ultimately chose to isolate me from communication on key decision-making.”
Harrison had to scramble to find information about decisions made behind his back, “but try hard not to show it.”
In early April 2022, Harrison put up one last fight by filing a formal written complaint about what he considered to be “The biggest organizational problems preventing future success of FTX. He indicated in the complaint that he would resign if the problems were not resolved.
In response, an executive “threatened” Harrison on behalf of the SBF. Harrison has been warned that unless he formally withdraws his grievance he will be sacked and see his professional reputation eroded by the SBF.
Harrison was also asked to make an apology to the SBF for which it had been drafted. He wrote that this incident strengthened Harrison’s resolve to leave FTX US. As a result, it “stopped” gradually rather than going abruptly to avoid negative impact on the company and termination of ongoing projects.
Scams revealed shortly after FTX crash“It’s really hard for me to grasp,” Harrison wrote. However, he added that the organizational and management issues he highlighted during his tenure were typical of the growth of startups.
“I would never have guessed that these kinds of cases – which I have seen in other, more mature companies in my career and believe are not fatal to business success – were multibillion-dollar fraud.”
Harrison added that the fraud was committed by the SBF and its inner circle — as evidenced by the indictments and guilty plea — and that he and other US FTX employees had no part in it.
He stated that criminal activities were “carefully concealed” from US FTX executives because these executives had extensive professional networks.Our lines of communication with US regulators, and our own authority to speak to the US media.”
If any of the US FTX executives had any suspicions of criminal activity, Harrison said, they would have reported it to the authorities immediately.