Robinhood parts ways with its first CPO Aparna Chennapragada

In what apparently part of the restructuring it announced last month, Robinhood is parting ways with its Chief Product Officer Aparna Chennapragada. However, she’ll remain employed in an advisory role to the CEO through January 2023.

Aparna Chennapragada

The former Google executive had originally joined the no-fee brokerage firm back in March 2021. At the time, the millennium-geared app was not filling a vacant spot, as the tech veteran was the first CPO to be appointed to Robinhood.

“During the last 20 years, I’ve been lucky to serve and lead in companies with bold missions. Google, providing universal access to information and computing. Akamai, the world’s first internet content delivery network. Capital One, changing banking for good. I was drawn to Robinhood for its potential to democratize finance for all. And for the personal challenge to expand the co beyond trading into a broad set of products to make money work better for all. We made inroads toward this vision with products in spending and retirement,” Aparna said.

Before Robinhood, Chennapragada had been a leader at Google for nearly 13 years and served most recently as Vice President where she oversaw product management for new product areas in augmented reality. Prior to that, she was a senior director and Technical Assistant to Google CEO, tasked with various company-wide product efforts and strategic reviews.

Chennapragada kicked off her career with the internet giant back in 2008, having joined a team to develop algorithmic features for YouTube and Google News.

Besides her leading roles at Google, she served as a member of the Board of Directors of Capital One, which offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services.

Overall, Chennapragada has more than 23 years of experience across various industries, combined with a deep understanding of technology, information, artificial intelligence and customer experience.

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev revealed plans to let go nearly a quarter of its staff with employees from all departments will be impacted. The changes are particularly concentrated in the company’s operations, marketing, and program management functions

The layoffs came as Robinhood released its Q2 2022 earnings which saw total revenue of $318 million over the three months through June 2022, 44 percent lower than the same period in 2021.

Robinhood had initially planned to cut nearly 10 percent of its full-time staff, but CEO said this did not go far enough. The zero-fee app had staffed up assuming that the heightened interest in trading from retail investors after the meme-stock phenomenon would carry into 2022. This assumption has run into the headwinds of inflation and the crypto winter that are affecting activity at all retail platforms.