FTX's new CEO John Jay Ray III called on staff to rally together during an all-hands meeting after last week's bankruptcy protection filing, people who were on the call told The Block.
"We need your support," Ray told staff, according to those on the call. Former billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried stepped down from the company following a series of events last week that resulted in its insolvency and the revelation of a multi-billion dollar hole in the firm's balance sheet, which Bankman-Fried attributed to managerial missteps and former employees attributed to fraud.
While many employees of the exchange have left — including former institutional sales head Zane Tackett and head of ventures Amy Wu — a large contingent of lower- to senior-level staff remain.
The firm has some money to pay salaries, but it is unclear if it will be able to keep on contractors, according to people who attended the meeting. The firm sent out forms for employees to fill out and explain their roles to likely determine whom to fire or whom to let go.
Payroll is expected to continue as usual, though Ray warned there may be hiccups.
Ryne Miller, FTX US's general counsel, is staying on with the firm as it navigates its transition into bankruptcy, taking the lead of external communications.
Miller, who previously served as legal counsel to SEC Chair Gary Gensler while he ran the CFTC, joined FTX in August 2021 from Sullivan & Cromwell where he was a partner.
Miller declined to comment.
Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
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