Affirm today announced it has hired eBay Vice President Carl Gish to be its first Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
Gish will be responsible for enhancing and building Affirm’s global brand as the financial technology company begins expanding beyond point-of-sale payments.
“eBay notwithstanding, the kind of skills and know-how Carl built while developing the Dove Real Beauty campaign for Unilever, and as Dyson’s North American CMO, is exactly the deep consumer brand marketing expertise and talent Affirm needs in its next wave of growth,” said Affirm Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Max Levchin. “We’re not just trying to build another profitable lender. Affirm is here to revolutionize the banking industry to be more accountable and accessible to consumers, by developing products and services that empower consumers to better manage their financial well-being.”
Levchin founded Affirm in 2013 to give buying power to consumers underserved by existing financial institutions, using big data analytics to more accurately assess credit risk than traditional FICO-based scoring systems.
Today, Affirm gives shoppers the flexibility to buy now and make simple monthly payments for their purchases. Unlike credit cards with compounding interest and unexpected costs, Affirm customers know upfront exactly what they’ll pay — with no hidden fees and no surprises. Later this year, Affirm plans to roll out additional financial services directly to consumers, and will announce the addition of some large merchants to the list of over 700 that partner with Affirm, up from just 100 a year ago.
“The banking industry is not consistently serving the best interests of its customers. Affirm is reinventing lending and consumer finance for the current century, starting by providing loans with terms that are fair and transparent right at checkout,” said Gish. “I’m excited to be joining Max and the rest of the team at Affirm as we work hard to realize our ambition of building a banking and financial services brand that customers explicitly trust and that they rely on to serve their best interests.“
As Affirm’s first CMO, Gish brings over 25 years of marketing and general management experience, most recently at eBay as Vice President of Global Delivery Experience and Local. Before eBay, he was CEO of Folica, a privately held online retailer in the premium beauty and hair care category. Earlier in his career, Gish was CMO at Dyson, best known for its innovative vacuum cleaners and fans. He did two stints at Unilever, first as Group Brand Manager for Dove, and later as Vice President of Brand Marketing and Product Management for their skin care category including well-loved brands like Dove, Vaseline, Axe, and others. In between, Gish worked at Amazon in a variety of roles including Vice President and General Manager of Electronics, Marketing Director and General Manager of Books.
Gish also serves as a board advisor for several companies in the renewable energy, ag-tech and consumer sectors.
The announcements today come just weeks after Affirm announced its acquisition of personal finance management app maker Sweep.co. In April, Affirm also announced it raised a $100 million Series D round of equity funding led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.