US neo bank Simple has named a former Amazon executive as its new CEO, in a rare example of talent returning from Big Tech to the banking industry
David Hijirida quit Seattle-based Washington Mutual in 2007 to help build Amazon's online payments business, before moving on to act as a director of Amazon Web Services and the e-commerce giant's advertising arm.
Hijirida takes over from Dickson Chu who was working as the interim chief executive of the bank after founding CEO Josh Reich who quit in May.
He joins Simple after a turbulent couple of years since its $117 million takeover by Spanish bank BBVA in 2014. The company has lost all of its co-founders and last year laid off 10% of its staff as it struggled with the hard realities of transitioning from a tech startup to a straight-up banking entity.
For all that, Simple still stands out as a vanguard of the digital banking revolution, an attraction which Hijirida found hard to resist.
Says Hijirida: “When I left the banking industry, it was partly because I was tired of the way banks were treating customers. Simple’s mission, vision, and values address that exact frustration. I’m excited to enhance what Simple has already created, and I’m committed to launching products that help people feel confident with their money.”