Sam Bankman-Fried was a “horrible” manager, according to author Michael Lewis, who has written a new book about the cofounder of failed crypto exchange FTX.
Even Bankman-Fried’s closest friends within the company thought the former FTX CEO was “not built to manage people,” the “Big Short” author told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in an interview aired on Sunday.
Lewis’ book, “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon,” is set for release on Tuesday — the same day Bankman-Fried’s trial on federal fraud charges is scheduled to start.
The author further told CBS that Bankman-Fried believed people shouldn’t need to be managed. “So he proceeded to act on that and basically didn’t manage them,” added Lewis, who first met the former crypto mogul in the fall of 2021.
The pair met more than 100 times over the subsequent two years. Lewis also interviewed Bankman-Fried’s parents while reporting for his new book.
Bankman-Fried also appeared to know little about FTX’s corporate management. He told Lewis FTX didn’t really have a board.
“There are two other people on something called a board of directors, but it’s changed and I don’t even know their names. And their job is just to DocuSign whatever,” Bankman-Fried said, per Lewis’ account.
“It was all Sam’s world. And there was nobody there to say, like, ‘Don’t, don’t do that,’” the author added.
Bankman-Fried, 31, is in jail. He faces seven charges of fraud and conspiracy relating to the exchange’s collapse. FTX — which was worth $32 billion in early 2022 — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 11 of the same year after a week-long liquidity crisis.
A representative for Bankman-Fried declined to comment to Insider.
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