Two high-ranking executives responsible for Binance’s operations in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet territories have departed from the cryptocurrency giant. This comes during a period of ongoing regulatory challenges and as Binance contemplates its presence in sanctioned Russia.
Gleb Kostarev, who served as Binance’s Regional Head of Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand, announced his departure on Facebook and LinkedIn. Kostarev had previously overseen the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. While leaving, he praised the local teams and partners for their hard work and campaigns, although he did not provide specific reasons for his departure after five years in executive roles at Binance.
On the same day, Vladimir Smerkis, the exchange’s General Manager for Russia and the CIS countries, also revealed on Facebook that he was leaving Binance. Smerkis mentioned that he would share details about his decision and future plans after taking a much-needed vacation.
These departures add to a growing list of executives leaving Binance. In early July, Binance’s Chief Strategy Officer, Patrick Hillmann, confirmed his departure on social media. A Bloomberg report revealed that Senior Vice President for Compliance, Steven Christie, and Binance’s General Counsel, Hon Ng, had also left the company. Additionally, Leon Foong, who managed the APAC business, is no longer with the company.
Binance has faced significant challenges, including layoffs of over 1,000 employees, heightened regulatory scrutiny in the U.S., legal battles over alleged securities and futures law violations, and investigations related to sanctions violations in Russia. Binance is considering exiting the Russian market and has already withdrawn from several European markets.