Winklevoss-Backed Crypto Firm Open Door Hires Top Lawyer (2)

Sydney Shub is leaving her job as head of legal at Gemini Trust Company, founded by the Winklevoss brothers, to join online real estate company Opendoor Technologies Inc. as a senior attorney.

Schaub has spent the past four years at the company, which was started by bitcoin billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Gemini recently laid off 10% of its staff in the digital asset market crash.

Opendoor, which announced a merger with a special purpose buying company in late 2020, is looking to reinvent the home buying process. The business, which focuses on so-called iBuying technology, expanded to suburbs around New York City earlier this year.

Opendoor founder and CEO Eric Wu said in a statement that Schaub was “instrumental in developing a family name for companies that disrupt the legacy of business.”

A Gemini spokeswoman said the company promoted deputy general counsel Nils Jertsen to general counsel and will oversee legal, compliance and regulatory affairs. A leading financial services company, Now Block Inc.

Gemini, which was valued at $7 billion last year, hired Schaub in 2018 after spending more than a year as general counsel at the e-commerce fashion retail platform. Prior to that, Schaub spent nearly six years at Square. General Counsel in 2016 when former Chief Legal Officer Dana Wagner left.

Shub worked for five years at Alphabet Inc. Google, which she hired straight out of Harvard Law School in 2007. She did not respond to questions about her departure from Gemini.

In a July 26 statement on her LinkedIn profile, Schaub thanked her former colleagues at Gemini and said she is “looking forward to a new challenge that disrupts another regulated industry.”

Open role

At Opendoor, Schaub will move into the role previously held by Elizabeth Stevens, the company’s head of legal and brokerage. Stevens left in September to become general counsel of a Walmart Inc.-backed financial technology app.

Opendoor paid Stevens total compensation of approximately $5.9 million in fiscal year 2021, the company said in a proxy statement filed in April. However, Stevens lost 75 percent of her $5.6 million in stock awards when she left Opendoor.

It was announced in December 2020 that the San Francisco-based company has merged with social capital Hedosofia Holdings Corp. II, backed by venture capitalist Chamat Palihapitiya, a serial distributor in the SPAC space.

Latham & Watkins advised Opendoor on the deal, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom led the Palihapitia SPAC. Opendoor has built a $9 billion war chest as it tries to disrupt the U.S. residential real estate market by buying and selling homes, Bloomberg reported last year.

Schaub is a founding member of TechGC, a private, invitation-only community of law department leaders and in-house lawyers who share best practices in the technology sector, network with each other and exchange career advice.

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