• Brett Harrison, the former president of FTX US, accused Sam Bankman-Fried of “gaslighting and manipulation”
• Harrison was marginalized as a leader while attempting to expand the footprint of FTX in the US
• Harrison’s relationship with Bankman-Fried had deteriorated months before he left FTX US in September
FTX US, the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange, has been in the public eye these past few weeks due to the financial offenses its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been accused of. On Saturday, Brett Harrison, the former president of FTX US, provided information about his time working for Bankman-Fried while separating himself from the disgraced crypto tycoon.
Harrison took to Twitter to make a series of tweets in which he accused Bankman-Fried of “gaslighting and manipulation.” He stated that he was marginalized as a leader while attempting to expand the footprint of the exchange in the United States. Harrison served as the head of FTX US for a total of 17 months, but according to a former high-ranking worker, he threatened to quit the organization in April of last year, after just 11 months in the position. This was due to the “organizational flaws” he saw with FTX’s structure.
In early April 2022, Harrison made a written formal complaint about what he saw to be the largest organizational problem: the lack of clear and consistent communication between the executive team and the rest of the workforce. He felt that Bankman-Fried was increasingly disregarding his concerns and was “insisting on certain decisions that he had no business making.” Harrison further elaborated that Bankman-Fried had a “tendency to micromanage” and that this was causing a rift in the company’s leadership.
Despite these issues, Harrison continued to serve as the head of FTX US for another six months – until September, when he finally decided to leave. However, Harrison claims that his relationship with Bankman-Fried had already started to deteriorate months earlier. He stated that Bankman-Fried was “not providing the leadership and guidance we needed to expand” and that he was “engaging in a pattern of gaslighting and manipulation.”
Harrison’s claims against Bankman-Fried have been met with both support and criticism. Some have praised him for coming forward with his story and have expressed their solidarity with him, while others have questioned the validity of his claims. Nonetheless, his experience with FTX has been a cautionary tale for those involved in the cryptocurrency industry, and a reminder that even the most successful exchanges are not immune to internal strife.