Monzo founder Tom Blomfield is to depart the UK challenger bank at the end of the month after admitting that the pressure of growing the firm in the midst of a global pandemic had taken a toll on his mental health.
Blomfield stepped down from the role of CEO in May last year, making way for former Visa head of products and platform TS Anil.
The shift in focus came in the middle of the UK's first Covid-19 lock-down, as the challenger struggled to show that it could turn its large customer base into a profitable enterprise and faced a discounted valuation from wary investors.
At the time, Blomfield said that he had decided to take on a presidential role within the bank, focussing on Monzo's long-term vision, product development and working with its community of customers.
The news of his full-time exit was reported by TechCrunch, which conducted a "brief but candid" telephone interview with Blomfield, who revealed that, as well as being unhappy during the last couple of years as CEO when the company scaled well beyond a “scrappy startup”, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns exacerbated pressures placed on his own mental well-being.
“I’m very happy to talk about what’s gone on with me, because I don’t think people do it enough”, 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”.