Facebook's Libra Association Hires Its First CEO

Stuart Levey CEO Libra Association

The group founded by Facebook to launch the social media company’s entry into digital currency has named a former U.S. Treasury Department executive as its first CEO.

Stuart Levey, who is serving as chief legal officer of HSBC, the London-based global investment bank and financial services company, will manage the Geneva, Switzerland-based Libra Association from Washington, D.C. starting this summer, the group announced on Wednesday (May 6).

The 24-member independent membership organization, which includes companies and nonprofits, was formed last year by Facebook to enable their version of a global payment system, the group said.

Last fall, PYMNTS reported that Libra petitioned the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for a Swiss payment system license for its planned cryptocurrency. At the time, FINMA said oversight of the range of services provided by Libra would follow the maxim “same risks, same rules.”

Last month, FINMA confirmed it had received an application for a payment system license from Libra. A decision has not yet been made. Libra said last month that it expects to have its coins ready in late 2020.

Levey’s role will be to provide strategic leadership for the project, leveraging his experience to combine technology and compliance, Libra said.

Prior to joining HSBC, Levey served as the first undersecretary of the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence during the Bush and Obama administrations, when he helped establish policies to combat illicit finance.

“Stuart brings to the Libra Association the rare combination of an accomplished leader in government, where he enjoyed bipartisan respect and influence, and the private sector, where he managed teams spread across the globe,” said Katie Haun, partner at Andreessen Horowitz and a Libra Association board member who led the CEO search committee. “Stuart shares our vision for using blockchain technology to deliver a more open, inclusive and high-functioning payment system that puts crypto in the hands of billions around the world.”

Prior to his Treasury appointment, Levey held several senior roles at the U.S. Department of Justice, including associate deputy attorney general. He joined the Justice Department in 2001 after 11 years in private practice.



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