When Marqeta filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering last year, it listed 10 key executives leading the company. Now, just over a year later, only three of them remain, including CEO Jason Gardner, who plans to exit that role soon.
He announced Aug. 10 that the digital card company is searching for a new CEO, and he will become executive chairman when it finds one. A day earlier, Marqeta’s chief operating officer, Vidya Peters, had tendered her resignation, with plans to leave the company on Sept. 3, according to an SEC filing.
The changes follow a string of other executive departures from the company since the June 2021 IPO. Kevin Doerr, the former chief product officer; Darren Mowry, the former chief revenue officer; Philip “Tripp” Faix, the former chief financial officer; Lori McAdams, the former chief people officer; and two former senior vice presidents, Renata Caine and Brian Kieley, have all hit the exit.
Acknowledging the exodus, the company said: “Marqeta has seen turnover on our executive team since our IPO last June.” It explained the turnover this way: “This is very common for companies of our age and stage, and we’re thankful to each exec for their contributions to where we are today,” it added.
Gardner has sought to create technology for a modern digital approach to the issuing of prepaid, credit and debit cards in what he calls a complex and highly regulated industry. The company has won business from a variety of e-commerce companies, ranging from buy now-pay later provider Klarna to delivery company DoorDash.
The exodus of executives comes after Marqeta’s new shares have lost more than three-quarters of their value since last year, tumbling from a 52-week high of $37.90 to close at $8.20 in trading Tuesday. That’s a big reversal from the pop the stock received last June after the public stock market debut helped the company raise over $1 billion.
Gardner, who founded the Oakland, California-based company in 2010, owns about a third of the company, according to the company’s proxy statement showing ownership as of April 18. That document also shows Granite Ventures owning about a third, but a representative of the firm who was on Marqeta’s board, Christopher McKay, left the board in June.
Whether the management shake-up reflects the desire for change by the company’s board or the executives themselves is always an open question.
“Sometimes, a company is scaling and to get to the next level, they need to bring in a new team,” Anand Sanwal, the CEO of research firm CB Insights, said in an email. “Conversely, sometimes, performance is not great and so they clean house to try and bring in better talent. Or when performance is not great, execs leave because they don't see good prospects for the business and their equity isn't worth what they thought it would be.”
While Marqeta reported second-quarter revenue climbed 53% to $186.7 million and total payments volume increased at the same rate to $40 billion, it still posted a net loss of $44.7 million, according to its Aug. 10 quarterly earnings release. Despite the growth, the company is heavily dependent on its single largest customer, which is Square parent Block, for about 70% of that revenue.
Gardner exits as the company grows
For his part, Gardner said he was ready to step aside, but that he would remain active at the company as executive chairman and its largest shareholder.
“To maximize the next stage of growth as we diversify the business and the capabilities we offer and the geographies we serve, we want to be very proactive and begin our succession-planning process by looking for the next CEO to lead Marqeta,” Gardner said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call last week. “When we went public in 2021, I promised to hand leadership to the best person at the appropriate time. After thoughtful consideration of what the next phase of growth will require I concluded that now is the time to start the search for this person.”
The only two senior managers from the initial IPO filing who are still with the company are Chief Technology Officer Randy Kern and Chief Legal Officer Seth Weissman.
The company also is searching for a chief revenue officer, Gardner said during last week’s earnings conference call. Mowry, who previously occupied that job, had joined Marqeta in May 2021 after nearly a decade at Amazon, but left last December to head Alphabet’s Google Cloud North America unit, according to his LinkedIn profile.
String of departures
Peters, who joined Marqeta in 2019 as chief marketing officer, rose quickly at the company and was promoted just last November to her current chief operating officer role, after also briefly serving as the company’s interim chief product officer. Earlier this year, she was named by American Banker to its list of Most Influential Women in Payments.
Simon Khalaf, who joined Marqeta in July from Twilio as chief product officer, will assume Peters’ responsibilities on a temporary basis. Khalaf’s predecessor, Doerr, was at the company from March 2020 to October 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile, which calls him a senior technology executive.
Last month, the chargeback fintech Justt announced it had hired Caine as its chief commercial officer.
Whoever is hired as CRO will work with Chief Financial Officer Mike Milotich, who joined Marqeta in February after a decade in corporate finance for card giant Visa. His most recent Visa position was as head of corporate finance and investor relations.
Milotich replaced Faix, who left Marqeta at the end of March “to spend more time with family after three and a half years in his role,” according to a press release from the company. He has since joined the German software company Mambu in the same role, according to his LinkedIn profile.