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Robinhood lays off 23% of staff as retail investing slows

“This is on me”: CEO Vlad Tenev took responsibility for Robinhood’s over-hiring during the retail investment highs of 2021.

a man and a woman sitting on a couch in front of a chalkboard

Baiju Bhatt & Vlad Tenev/Robinhood.

After letting go of 9 per cent of its staff just a few months ago, Robinhood has now cut another 23 per cent of its staff — more than 1,000 jobs in total.

The ripple effects of the covid retail investment boom are continuing to hit, with Robinhood joining the likes of Freetrade in more staff layouts.

CEO Vlad Tenev shared the news in a company blog post, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal, and comes as part of a “broader company reorganisation”.

In the post, Tenev outlined that employees from all functions would be impacted, but the layoffs would be “particularly concentrated” in operations, marketing and program management functions.

He explained the initial layoffs “did not go far enough” and cited “additional deterioration” of the macro environment, record inflation levels and a broad crypto market crash for the need for further cuts.

Tenev said the company had operated under the assumption that “heightened retail engagement” seen during covid would continue into 2022.

“In this new environment, we are operating with more staffing than appropriate,” Tenev wrote.

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

Robinhood moved up the release of its second quarter results by a day, to land on the same day as the news of the layoffs. 

It reported its monthly active users fall to 14m, down 34 per cent from the year before.

Revenue also fell 44 per cent to $318m from the same quarter in 2021, but saw a marginal sequential increase of 6 per cent.

The trading platform also struck another blow this week as its crypto arm got hit with a $30m fine by the New York City state regulator.

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