Former FTX US President Brett Harrison has revealed that his relationship with the exchange’s embattled founder Sam Bankman-Fried had reached a point of total deterioration. Harrison says that it was not worth continuing working for the company no matter the prestige or upside, or the risk it posed to his reputation in departing early.
In a statement released on Twitter on Saturday, Harrison raised concerns about Bankman-Fried's mental health and addiction, saying, "Like many of us, I have family and friends who live with addiction and mental health problems, and I’ve seen how these problems often manifest without much warning in early adulthood. I thought that might be a contributing factor, and initially felt sympathetic."
Harrison added that he didn't know Bankman-Fried well enough personally or have "any real time to reflect on the question," but had a professional relationship with the FTX FTT/USD founder and disagreed with a number of decisions he made about running the business.
Decisions From The Bahamas Came Without Warning
Describing his first few months at the company as "wonderful", Harrison said while Bankman-Fried was rarely engaged in FTX US business, decisions impacting FTX US would come, without warning, from the Bahamas.
He added that things started to change six months into his time at the company.
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Harrison began advocating strongly for establishing separation and independence for the executive, legal, and developer teams of FTX US, but Bankman-Fried disagreed.
Harrison said, "I saw in that early conflict his total insecurity and intransigence when his decisions were questioned, his spitefulness, and the volatility of his temperament. I realized he wasn’t who I remembered."
Consequences Of Disagreeing With Bankman-Fried
Harrison also highlighted the pressure that came with disagreeing with Bankman-Fried.
"Standing up to an insecure, prideful manager is hard under any circumstance. But it’s nearly impossible when every day, every major voice of culture and commerce deafens you with a narrative that implies if you disagree with your manager you clearly must be wrong," he said.
He further noted that he wasn't the only one at FTX US who disagreed with Bankman-Fried and that FTX US was staffed with experienced professionals from U.S. finance firms, law firms, and regulated exchanges.
“Our collective experience and professional acumen were frequently treated as though they were irrelevant and valueless. It was extremely frustrating for all of us,” Harrison said.
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