Commission-free investing app Robinhood today announced a new promotion to its executive management team, elevating Gretchen Howard to the role of its chief operating officer (COO).
Howard landed at Robinhood in November 2018 as Vice President of Operations, coming from CapitalG, Alphabet’s venture capital arm. Her original assignment was to support Robinhood in scaling its operations and customer support functions, but her role was then expanded to more key areas of the business, including brokerage operations, product operations, communications, HR, and recruiting.
Earlier in her career, she worked with Google in 2006 as the co-site lead of the Google San Francisco office, as well as a managing director in sales & business operations. Before that, she served as a vice president at Fidelity Investments.
Commenting on her appointment, Vlad Tenev, co-founder & co-CEO at Robinhood said: “In addition to driving improvements to our operations, Gretchen’s impact can be seen across the organization. At Robinhood, we have an insane customer focus. Gretchen embodies that value and inspires us to build scalable, quality products that expand participation in our financial system. Her leadership as COO will be instrumental as we grow our business, and I’m excited to continue working together to democratize finance for all.”
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Robinhood Crypto expands with its zero-fee offering
Robinhood is one of the fastest-growing players in the red-hot financial technology segment. And as the company is moving closer towards going public, it has recently attracted a number of high-profile Wall Street’s experts, including Jason Warnick who spent 20 years at Amazon.
Robinhood Crypto got off to a good start last year. It seeks to carve out its niche by letting traders buy and sell cryptocurrency for $0 a trade. In doing so, the company makes money from order flows, a common tactic used by discount brokers to generate revenue by directing orders to certain trading venues.
The seven-year-old startup has been able to keep its free platform afloat through compromises such as not having many physical locations, maintaining only a small staff for client service, and not spending on massive promotional campaigns.
Also in May 2018, Robinhood raised its latest round of funding, bringing in $363 million at a $5.6 billion valuation.