Robinhood Markets Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vlad Tenev offered an apology for the company’s decision to temporarily curb trading in some stocks, including GameStop Corp. , on Jan. 28 amid extraordinary volatility.
“Despite the unprecedented market conditions in January, at the end of the day, what happened is unacceptable to us,” Mr. Tenev said after being questioned at a congressional hearing Thursday.
His apology came after House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) interrupted the Robinhood CEO during his opening remarks. Her request was unusual as witnesses are allowed to make opening statements before taking questions from lawmakers.
The GameStop episode, in which a group of online traders helped send shares of the videogame retailer on a wild rally earlier this year that ultimately crashed, has raised concerns about the integrity of the U.S. stock market and the rules that govern it. The Securities and Exchange Commission and other authorities are investigating whether the saga calls for policy changes or was fueled by criminal misconduct such as market manipulation.
Thursday’s hearing, which ran over five hours, is the first of three planned by the committee, Ms. Waters said. Future hearings would likely feature representatives from the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, she added.