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Business

Robinhood to cut 23% of workforce, revenue down 44%




The latest cuts, which will affect 780 employees, continue a massive free fall for the once high-flying online brokerage. In a separate development Tuesday, New York state slapped Menlo Park, Calif., with a $30 million fine.
In a blog post on the company’s website, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev said the “deteriorating macro environment” — specifically decades of high inflation combined with a cryptocurrency crash — has reduced the company’s customer trading activity and assets under custody.
In its second-quarter earnings report, also released Tuesday, the company showed a 44% drop in revenue from a year ago. Robinhood’s monthly active users in June decreased by more than 7 million, or 34%, and that assets under custody have fallen by more than $37 billion, or 37%, from the second quarter of last year.
The company’s staffing and operations approach, he added, was tailor-made for a continuation of the powerful crypto boom in the pandemic.

“Last year, we staffed many of our operations functions under the assumption that the increased retail engagement we had seen with the equity and crypto markets in the COVID era would persist into 2022,” Tenev wrote in a memo to employees. “In this new environment, we are operating with more staffing than is appropriate.”

He added: “As CEO I approved and took responsibility for our ambitious staffing trajectory – this is on me.”

The redundancies will affect employees across all functions in the company, with operations, marketing and program management positions the hardest hit, he said. The company planned to notify all employees via email and Slack on Tuesday with their status as well as resources if they were affected.

Separately on Tuesday, the New York State Department of Financial Services fined Robinhood’s cryptocurrency arm $30 million for allegedly violating reporting requirements related to anti-money laundering and cybersecurity regulations.

“As the business grew, Robinhood Crypto failed to invest the necessary resources and attention to develop and maintain a culture of compliance – a failure that resulted in significant violations of the Department’s anti-money laundering and cyber security regulations,” said Adrienne A. Harris. This is what the department’s chief physician says in a statement.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the percentage decline in Robinhood’s assets under custody. These fell by 37% in the second quarter.



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