SoFi officially taps Twitter exec Anthony Noto to be new CEO

Replaces Mike Cagney, who stepped down last year amid controversy

SoFi has found its new leader.

The online lender announced Tuesday morning that it selected Twitter Chief Operating Officer Anthony Noto to be the company’s new CEO.

Rumors of Noto being SoFi’s preferred choice to be its new CEO first emerged over the weekend.

Noto will take over as CEO and join SoFi’s board of directors on March 1.

Noto replaces Mike Cagney, who abruptly resigned as CEO back in September with the company embroiled in controversy.

SoFi initially announced in mid-September that Cagney planned to resign “by the end of the year” while the company was dealing with claims that it fired a former employee for reporting sexual harassment allegations to his superiors.

The former employee, Brandon Charles, a former senior operations manager, said in a lawsuit that he witnessed female colleagues being harassed by managers.

But just five days after announcing that Cagney planned to step down “by the end of the year,” Cagney officially stepped down, setting the stage for the search for a new CEO.

And SoFi has found its new CEO in the form of Noto, a former Goldman Sachs banker. Noto also served as chief financial officer of the NFL in the early 2000’s.

“We are simply thrilled to have found someone of Anthony’s expertise and knowledge to lead SoFi,” SoFi Interim CEO and Executive Chairman Tom Hutton said in a statement.

“The SoFi board unanimously agrees that Anthony’s deep understanding of technology, consumer, and financial businesses make him the perfect fit to be SoFi’s CEO,” Hutton added. “We could not be more excited to have someone of his caliber on board.”

With Noto on board, Hutton will become non-executive chairman of the board.

Noto joins SoFi from Twitter, where served as chief operating officer since November 2016. Noto came to Twitter in July 2014 to serve as chief financial officer.

Before joining Twitter, Noto served for nearly four years as co-head of global TMT investment banking at Goldman Sachs.

Now, Noto takes over at SoFi, where he has a bit of chore ahead of him to right SoFi’s ship.

Over the last few years, SoFi transitioned from specializing in student loans into becoming one of the largest online residential mortgage retailers.

In 2016, SoFi shook up the mortgage business when it announced a partnership with Fannie Mae, which included a new loan option that allows homeowners to refinance their mortgage at a lower rate and pay down the balance of an existing student loan.

Last year, SoFi announced its intentions to break into banking by applying for a bank charter under the name SoFi Bank in Utah.

That move was met by resistance from other banks and members of Congress, but the plan was abandoned, after Cagney stepped down.

SoFi was previously the apple of investors’ eye, including, raising $500 million last year in its Series F financing led by Silver Lake. That capital raise came roughly 18 months after SoFi raised $1 billion, led by SoftBank. At the time, the capital raise was the largest single financing round in the fintech space to date.

“I’m grateful to the SoFi board for this extraordinary opportunity to lead one of the most important new companies at the intersection of technology and finance,” Noto said in a release. “SoFi has a significant opportunity to build on its leadership position in student and personal loans to revolutionize consumer finance and build a next-generation financial services company. I’m excited to work with Tom and the rest of the SoFi team.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took to his own platform Tuesday morning to with Noto well.

Noto officially assumes his new role at SoFi on March 1.

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