Monzo founder Tom Blomfield is leaving the challenger bank at the end of the month

Monzo founder Tom Blomfield is leaving the bank at the end of the month, after a tough couple of years.

Blomfield served as the company’s CEO until May 2020, when he moved to the role of president. This position switch was to allow Blomfield the ability to focus on the long-term vision of the bank and doing work he enjoys more.

However, after reflecting on his time at the bank and the growth ambitions of Monzo, Blombfield felt it was time to “hand over the baton” and let the new executive team take full control, according to a report from TechCrunch.

In a call with TechCrunch, Blomfield revealed he had not been happy during the last two years as CEO of the company. Furthermore, the pandemic and lockdowns put pressure on his mental health.

Blomfield told TechCrunch, “I stopped enjoying my role probably about two years ago… as we grew from a scrappy startup that was iterating and building stuff people really love, into a really important U.K. bank.

“I’m not saying that one is better than the other, just that the things I enjoy in life is working with small groups of passionate people to start and grow stuff from scratch, and create something customers love. And I think that’s a really valuable skill but also taking on a bank that’s three, four, five million customers and turning it into a 10 or 20 million customer bank and getting to profitability and IPOing it, I think those are huge exciting challenges, just honestly not ones that I found that I was interested in or particularly good at.”

The coronavirus and the lockdowns have put a lot of stress on people and businesses. People have been furloughed, lost their jobs, had less social interactions and much more, all damaging people’s mental health.

Monzo was not excluded from troubles. The bank reportedly suffered a down round last year, which saw its valuation drop by 40%. The challenger bank had been valued at $2bn, but that dropped down to $1.24bn after raising a £60m top-up round.

The bank also had to make a number of layoffs. Monzo fired 120 members of its staff, close its Las Vegas office and lose the 165-strong team, and furloughed 165 members of its UK team.

Blomfield told TechCrunch that his mental health was also massively impacted by the pandemic. He said, “I think [for] a lot of people in the world… going through a pandemic, going through lockdown and the isolation involved in that has an impact on people’s mental health.

“I don’t think I was any different, so I was really struggling. I had a really, really supportive exec team around me and a really supportive set of investors on board and I was really grateful that when I put my hand up and said, ‘I need help,’ they were super receptive to that.”

As mentioned, Blomfield moved to the role of president last year. This move was designed to let him think about his future and whether he would continue at Monzo or move onto a new venture. The new report claims that there was no pressure from Monzo’s investors for Blomfield to leave. In fact, it was the opposite. They wanted him to stay as CEO for longer.

After leaving his position as CEO, Blomfield was replaced by TS Anil. Blomfield stated that Anil and Sujata Bhatia, Monzo’s COO, as well as the rest of the executive team, have a lot of specific skills he does not have when running a large company.

While leaving the bank is “bitter-sweet”, Blomfield is happy to relax before doing anything new. One of the current goals is to finish vaccination training so he can volunteer to help deliver the vaccines for Covid-19.

On Twitter, Blomfield said, “I just finished my last all-hands and Q&A with the @monzo team. So many great memories and awesome team-mates. It’s been a blast. I’m looking forward to some extended relaxation before the next thing.”

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