FTX Saga: SBF Labelled Insecure, Volatile, and Spiteful by Ex-FTX US President 

According to Brett Harrison, SBF was implacable and reacted to arguments with dysregulated hostility and gaslighting.

In a post on Twitter on January 14, former FTX US president Brett Harrison charged FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) with gaslighting and manipulation. In September 2022, two months before SBF’s crypto empire fell, Harrison quit FTX.US.

Harrison shared his experience while managing FTX US for 17 months, claiming that when things became tense between the two, SBF resorted to excluding him from important decisions about the US branch of FTX.

In late March 2021, SBF casually through a text invited his ex-colleague Harrison to join FTX US. Harrison joined the company in May and, for the first several months, operated essentially independently of SBF. But things changed when Harrison discovered that SBF, although being rarely involved in the FTX.US company, made significant decisions concerning FTX US without warning. As a consequence, Harrison and SBF experienced “pronounced cracks” by October 2021, according to the former.

SBF objected to Harrison’s proposal to create separation and independence for the FTX US executive, legal, and programming teams. Harrison penned:

I saw SBF’s [SBF’s] complete nervousness, stubbornness when his judgments were questioned, spitefulness, and temperamental instability during that first dispute. He wasn’t who I recalled.

Harrison said that SBF’s power at the time was “pervasive and unrelenting” over FTX partners, the media, venture capital companies, and the conventional banking sector. Moreover, SBF dined with Washington’s elite and was a well-known political contributor. Harison clarified his predicament by adding:

“It’s difficult in any situation to stand up to an arrogant, insecure boss. But it’s almost difficult when every significant cultural and commercial voice deafens you every day with a narrative that indicates that if you disagree with your management, you are obviously in the wrong. Despite being under tremendous pressure not to disagree with SBF, Harrison challenged him. And he wasn’t the only member of the FTX US staff who objected to SBF’s choices.

Harrison said that it was very aggravating for all staff when the knowledge and expertise of FTX US personnel were routinely dismissed as irrelevant and worthless.

In the months that followed, Harrison pushed for FTX US to hire experienced C-suite officers and adopt a reasonable recruiting philosophy. Additionally, he advocated for open communication between SBF and the US division leadership group.

Harrison claimed that the duties of Nishad Singh, head of engineering at FTX, and co-founder Gary Wang should be clearly specified and distributed among a broader group. Harrison also recommended extending managerial responsibilities and controls outside of SBF and his close associates.

SBF’s reaction to these arguments was unpleasant, Harrison noted.

“Sam found confrontation to be unpleasant. He sometimes replied with uncontrolled rage, other times with gaslighting and deception, but in the end, he decided to cut me off from contact with important decisions. Harrison struggled to keep his emotions in check as he sought information regarding the choices taken behind his back.

An executive threatening Harrison in retaliation on behalf of SBF. Harrison was informed that if he didn’t officially withdraw his complaint, SBF would fire him and ruin his name in the industry.

Additionally, Harrison was ordered to give a prepared apology to SBF. Harrison claimed that this encounter made him more determined to quit FTX US. He thus wound down gradually rather than suddenly to conclude current initiatives and prevent having a negative effect on the company.

It’s “tough for me to incorporate into reality” the fraud discoveries that surfaced shortly after FTX’s demise, Harrison wrote. He did, however, add that expanding firms often experience the organizational and managerial problems he had emphasized throughout his time. I never would have anticipated that multi-billion-dollar fraud was at the root of these problems, which I had previously seen at other, more established organizations and considered not to be detrimental to commercial success.

Harrison said that he and the other workers of FTX US were not involved in the fraud, which was committed by SBF and his inner circle as shown by the charges and guilty pleas.

He said that since FTX US executives had vast professional networks, our lines of contact with US authorities, and our capacity to talk to US media, the illicit acts were well disguised from them. Harrison said that FTX US management would have notified law enforcement right away if they had any concerns about the illicit activity.

Latest articles

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here