Richard Teng may face regulatory issues if he takes over from Binance CEO Zhao amidst rumors of succession.

Recent reports suggest that Binance is looking for a new CEO following the exchange’s regulatory issues. Although neither Binance nor current CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao have made any official statements, it is believed that Binance executive Richard Teng is the most likely candidate to succeed Zhao if he decides to step down.

Binance is currently facing several problems in various regions. In May, the exchange’s third-party payment provider abruptly discontinued its services to the company. Shortly after, Binance suspended all bank transfer withdrawals and deposits of the Australian Dollar (AUD). At the time, Binance Australia said that users could still trade via debit or credit cards while they looked for an alternative provider.

In April, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) revoked Binance’s derivative broker license held by subsidiary Oztures Trading Pty Ltd. Interestingly, the official ASIC press release specified that Binance requested the revocation. However, it also said that the regulator has been “conducting a targeted review of Binance’s financial service business in Australia”.

Given the operational problems in Australia, appointing a new CEO may be more urgent as Binance is facing continuous regulatory scrutiny. In the US, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) launched an investigation into Binance’s derivatives operations, claiming that the company allowed Americans to trade derivative products. In the lawsuit filed against the exchange, CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam said that “for years, Binance knew they were violating CFTC rules”.

Binance has also announced its exit from Canada. In a long-form tweet posted in May, Binance said it was leaving Canada due to “new guidance related to stablecoins and investor limits”. Binance said it had postponed the decision for a long time to find a solution but had found none so far. In addition to Binance, OKX, dYdX, Bittrex, Paxos, and Bybit have also announced their exits from the Canadian marketplace.

Will Rumoured CEO Successor Teng Solve Binance’s Problems?

Richard Teng joined Binance as the CEO of Singapore in August 2021. Teng had a 13-year job with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and was also the chief regulatory officer at Singapore’s stock exchange. Richard Teng also ran the Abu Dhabi Global Market for 6 years.

Since there is no official communication, it is unclear if or when Teng will be the official successor as CEO. However, Teng’s potential selection may have some effect on Binance’s teeming problems. In May, Zhao chose Teng to head all regional markets, excluding the US, as Binance US is a standalone entity. Binance had promoted him to oversee the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in December 2021. Last year, he became the head of Binance’s European business in addition. Binance then made him head of Asia, Europe, and MENA in April before promoting him again last month.

Teng’s appointment and possible succession seem like a white flag raised to regulators. According to Duke University finance professor Campbell Harvey, choosing Teng “checks the boxes for trust”. He also said of the selection:

“Binance is signaling that they want to work with the regulators.”

Since Teng has nearly 20 years of experience working for and interfacing with government entities, his succession could show regulatory agencies that Binance will cooperate.