Robinhood Gets New COO as Crypto Interest Grows

Robinhood’s Markets’ VP of product operations Christine Brown will take on the additional role of COO, the company announced on Thursday.

Trading platform Robinhood has announced a new chief of operations (COO) via a blog post published on April 22. Christine Brown, Robinhood Markets’ VP of product operations, will take on the new role in addition to her current one. Her responsibilities will include overseeing crypto operations and compliance.

Brown has extensive experience in product management and operations, including leading the product strategy for Clearing by Robinhood Securities. Vlad Tenev, CEO and co-founder of Robinhood, commented:

“Robinhood Crypto customers are reshaping the investing landscape and Christine is going to do great things leading this team at a time of tremendous growth across the industry.”

The new direction and strategy that Robinhood is taking comes at a time when interest in crypto is at an all-time high. U.S. exchange Gemini recently published a report showing that the number of “crypto-curious” individuals was at a peak. More significantly, these investors were chiefly women and from an older age group.

It remains to be seen if Robinhood can make significant headway in the crypto asset space. Several other mainstream platforms, like PayPal, are also accepting cryptocurrencies.

Robinhood grows even as it reels from public backlash

Robinhood notes that its crypto team has tripled in size, this year, with recruitments in engineering, security, and compliance. The expansion comes as Robinhood faces public backlash for its decisions during the GameStop short squeeze incident.

More recently, the Massachusetts Securities Division revoked Robinhood’s license in the state, making it unavailable to the state’s citizens. Such incidents are just one of many to plague Robinhood, over the past few months.

Despite the flak it has received, the platform itself continues to do well. It added several new crypto traders to its platform in Q1 2021, growing by 600% over Q4 2020.

Users find Robinhood’s simplified interface and sleek design appealing, and it has made a habit of attracting millennials in particular. Very recently, it announced that it had become the most downloaded app on the Apple app store.