In a surprise statement issued by BATS Global Markets, the exchange operator announced that William O’Brien has departed the company and that CEO Joe Ratterman will reassume his position as president.
O’Brien joined BATS as president in February 2014, when BATS completed its acquisition of rival exchange operator Direct Edge. Previously, he had been the CEO of Direct Edge since 2007 where he oversaw the company’s migration from alternative trading system (ATS) to a fully licensed exchange.
In April, O’Brien had a contentious debate with Brad Katsuyama, the founder of IEX Group, and Michael Lewis, author of ‘Flash Boys’, on the cable business news network CNBC over allegations of a rigged market structure in the US equities market. As part of the row, O’Brien misstated that Direct Edge’s exchanges, EdgA and EdgX, used direct market data feeds to calculate exchange pricing when both exchanges use the consolidated market data feed provided by the securities information processors.
There is no word on what plans O’Brien has for the immediate future.