Coinbase's chief policy officer is leaving, and Fannie Mae's former general counsel is taking his place

Quick Take

  • Michael Lempres, the firm’s chief policy officer, is leaving to join Andreessen Horowitz
  • He is being replaced by a former Fannie Mae general counsel 

Count this as another big exit at cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinbase. 

On Wednesday, Bloomberg News' Julie Verhage reported that the firm's chief policy officer, Michael Lempres, is leaving to join venture capital investor and Coinbase-backer Andreessen Horowitz. Lempres, who was previously general counsel at Bitnet Technologies, joined Coinbase in 2017 as its chief legal and risk officer. In September, he took on the policy role, which put him in charge of communicating Coinbase-friendly policy positions with financial regulators.

“As chief legal and risk officer during a time of tremendous growth for Coinbase, Mike was instrumental in building the company’s legal and compliance functions and driving our vision of trust through compliance,” the firm told Bloomberg in an email. “We wish him the best in his new position with Andreessen Horowitz.” A spokesperson for the firm confirmed the report to The Block. 



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The Bloomberg piece did not report on Lempres' replacement. But The Block can confirm that Brian Brooks, who joined as chief legal and risk officer this year, is taking Lempres' spot. Previously, Brooks worked at Fannie Mae, the mortgage giant, as its general counsel and executive vice president. At Fannie, he led a 200-person legal and policy team. He was also a managing partner at O'Melveny & Meyers in Washington D.C., according to a blog post

Readers might recall Adam White — who led the build out of Coinbase's institutional business — left to join Intercontinental Exchange's Bakkt as its COO earlier this year. 

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Frank Chaparro is the Editor At Large at The Block. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. He runs his own podcast The Scoop and writes a biweekly eponymous newsletter. He leads special projects, including The Block's flagship podcast, The Scoop. Prior to The Block, he held roles at Business Insider, NPR, and Nasdaq. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].