Sam Bankman-Fried Gaslit Anyone who challenged him says ex-FTX US Boss

  • According to the former head of FTX US, Sam Bankman-Fried was spiteful, insecure and unable to handle conflict.
  • Brett Harrison said he reported his concerns about FTX to the disgraced former crypto billionaire.
  • Bankman-Fried “sometimes responded with gaslighting and manipulation,” Harrison added.

Sam Bankman-Fried was a spiteful and insecure manager who reacted poorly to any conflict or criticism, according to a former chief executive of FTX’s US operation.

Brett Harrison, who served as president of FTX US between May 2021 and September 2022, denounced the disgraced former crypto billionaire in a series of tweets Saturday.

Harrison said his relationship with Bankman-Fried began to sour after about six months — as he called for greater separation between FTX US and its Bahamas-based parent company.

“I started arguing strongly for segregation and independence for FTX US executive, legal and developer teams, and Sam disagreed,” he said. “I saw in that early conflict his utter uncertainty and intransigence when his decisions were questioned, his spitefulness and the volatility of his temper.”

“I realized he wasn’t who I remembered,” Harrison added, referring to an earlier stint at Bankman-Fried at the quantitative trading firm Jane Street.

Dubbed “the next Warren Buffett” by Fortune magazine, Bankman-Fried courted high-profile investors such as VC firm Sequoia Capital and NFL star Tom Brady — and that, according to Harrison, made him difficult to challenge.

“There was tremendous pressure not to disagree with Sam, but I did it anyway,” he said. “At that time, and throughout my time at FTX US, his influence over the media, FTX’s partners, the venture capital industry, and the traditional finance industry was pervasive and unyielding.”

Harrison said he raised further concerns about FTX’s hiring policy, the lack of experienced executives in C-suite positions and the software development roles of Gary Wang and Nishad Singh – who have since been identified as important members of Bankman-Fried’s “inner circle”.

But Bankman-Fried was unable to handle conflict and responded to the criticism by “gaslighting” Harrison, the former FTX US manager said.

“Sam was uncomfortable with conflict,” Harrison tweeted. “He responded at times with disorganized hostility, at times with gaslighting and manipulation, but ultimately chose to isolate me from communication about important decision-making.”

Harrison added that when he first put his concerns in writing in April 2021, Bankman-Fried’s allies at FTX said they would destroy his professional reputation unless he apologized and retracted his complaint.

“I submitted a written formal complaint about what I perceived to be the biggest organizational issues hindering FTX’s future success. I wrote that if the issues were not addressed, I would resign,” he said.

“In response, I was threatened on behalf of Sam that I would be fired and that Sam would destroy my professional reputation,” Harrison added. “I was instructed to formally retract what I had written and deliver an apology to Sam that was prepared for me.”

Harrison resigned from FTX September — just two months before it filed for bankruptcy.

Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and extradited to the US in December. Prosecutors say FTX’s balance sheet shows he “orchestrated years of fraud to hide from FTX’s investors” that he funneled money from clients to his crypto trading company Alameda Research.

There is no suggestion that Harrison is suspected of any wrongdoing. Neither Bankman-Fried nor Harrison immediately responded to Insider’s requests for comment.

Read more: Here’s how the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX empire compares to other corporate failures like Lehman Brothers and Enron

Leave a Comment