- Robinhood’s PR chief and one of its first employees, Jack Randall, is leaving the popular trading app as the company searches for his replacement.
- Robinhood just raised $200 million in Series G funding that gave it a valuation of $11.2 billion and has eyed an IPO.
- Over the past couple years, Robinhood has run afoul of regulators and in response, has bolstered its legal division by hiring a new chief legal officer, two deputy general counsels, and two chief compliance officers.
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Jack Randall, Robinhood’s head of communications and one of its first employees, is leaving after more than six years to become head of communications and an investor at Day One Ventures, which invests in early-stage companies like shoe company Atoms and DoNotPay, a legal services chatbot.
Robinhood told Business Insider the company was searching for his replacement.
Randall joined Robinhood as a summer intern after which Robinhood convinced him to quit college and become its 12th employee to boost awareness of the company and drive growth. He built a communications team of six who work in product, corporate, internal, and social.
Randall said he was leaving because he wanted to work with early-stage companies again.
“I was there for six years, which is a long time in tech, and as the company progressed and got bigger and bigger, I missed the early days where you talked about the product and value it brings to consumers and the sense of camaraderie among early team members,” Randall told Business Insider.
Robinhood has faced intense scrutiny as it’s grown
Robinhood just raised $200 million in Series G funding that gave it a valuation of $11.2 billion, and it has eyed an IPO, but it’s faced intense scrutiny and controversy along the way.
The Securities and Exchanges Commission and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority are investigating Robinhood for an outage in March after investors couldn’t access the company’s help center, website, or app for more than an entire trading day, according to Bloomberg.
More than 400 complaints were filed against Robinhood to U.S. consumer protection agencies in the first half of 2020, Bloomberg reported. To alleviate concerns, Robinhood has hired a new chief legal officer, Dan Gallagher, a former Republican SEC commissioner. It’s also brought on two deputy general counsels and two chief compliance officers.
In 2018, the startup announced plans to launch a checking and savings product insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. despite not checking with the organization beforehand. Robinhood was forced to walk back the announcement shortly thereafter.
The company had to deal with a bug in 2019 that allowed users to borrow seemingly unlimited amounts for trading.
And this year a young Robinhood user died by suicide, thinking he lost over $730,000.
Last week, Robinhood announced it hired two chief compliance officers: Norm Ashkenas for Robinhood Financial and Kelly Zigaitis for Robinhood Securities. Ashkenas was most recently SVP and head of compliance for Fidelity Institutional & Fidelity Brokerage Technology, while Zigaitis was head of oversight and controls at Wells Fargo Advisors.