• Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Research, felt unsuited for her job and had a troubled relationship with Sam Bankman-Fried.
• Excerpts from her online diary were leaked to the media, shedding light on her inner thoughts prior to FTX’s demise.
• She wrote that she felt “unhappy and overwhelmed” in her position and feared being overshadowed by SBF.
Caroline Ellison’s Relationship with SBF
Someone leaked Caroline Ellison’s personal diary to the media. The US Government thinks it was Sam Bankman-Fried. Caroline Ellison – former CEO of the fallen crypto trading desk Alameda Research – felt „unhappy and overwhelmed“ with her job, and strongly doubted that she was well suited to the role, according to newly leaked excerpts from her online diary. The excerpts shed light on many of her inner thoughts heading preceding FTX’s demise, including her troubled relationship with Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).
As reported by The New York Times on Thursday, the 27-year-old crypto executive told SBF in an April 2022 writing that her previous breakup with SBF had “significantly decreased my excitement about Alameda,“ due to the job’s association with the exchange founder. Bankman-Fried founded Alameda in 2017 and promoted Ellison to a co-CEO position in 2021, alongside Sam Trabucco.
While Sam did not formally control Alameda’s operations, Ellison wrote in February 2022 that she had “an instinct to shrink and become smaller and quieter and defer to others” when he was around. After one of the couple’s many breakups, Ellison deliberately ghosted Bankman-Fried. “Not giving you the contact you wanted felt like the only way I could regain a sense of power,“ she wrote in April.
Ellison also shared feelings of imposter syndrome due to being thrust into a leadership role at such a young age: „I often feel so completely outmatched by people who have been doing this work for much longer than me.“
Alameda was one of the few trading desks that seemingly met its downfall due to issues outside its control: specifically, public drama between SBF and his exes (Ellison included). This drama drew significant attention from various US regulatory agencies as well as public opinion – eventually leading them both away from their positions at Alameda last month when it sold itself off after incurring heavy losses following multiple investigations into its business practices related to market manipulation allegations against FTX Exchange LLC (formerly known as Binance LLC).
Although both parties have since left Alameda behind–Bankman- Fried now heads FTX while Trabucco is back at Coinbase–the impact their tumultuous relationship had on their respective careers will be remembered for years to come. In particular, it has revealed how even top executives can struggle under immense pressure – especially those early on in their career paths who may not yet have developed all necessary skills or confidence needed for success at such high levels within competitive industries such as finance/cryptocurrency markets where failure is often punished far more harshly than elsewhere.
Ultimately though this story serves as an important reminder: no matter your age or experience level there will always be challenges ahead which must be faced head on if we are ever going succeed professionally – especially when dealing with difficult relationships like those between colleagues or partners which can easily lead us astray if not handled properly!