secretleaders | Former Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield on falling out of love with your work

Former Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield on falling out of love with your work

Tom Blomfield, the former CEO and Co-Founder of Monzo, and Co-Founder of GoCardless, knows a thing or two about the fintech industry.

“We wanted to create something different than existing banks. We believed that the banks weren’t serving customers particularly well at that moment. Customer expectations had been raised dramatically by things like Spotify, Uber and Airbnb, in terms of the user experience and functionality.”

Which is why his announcement in January 2021 that he was leaving Monzo, 6 years after founding the challenger bank, came as a shock to many.

“When you get to that size, it’s about people management. You spend almost no time on product or customers really. It’s about process, a lot of process, extraordinary amount of regulation.”

But it takes an outstanding leader to know when to step aside. And in today’s inaugural episode of Season 7, Tom talks about the mounting pressure when you’re at the top and ultimately its impact on your mental health and identity.

“I’ve talked about suffering that kind of stress, a build up of stress, it starts impacting your sleep, or at least it impacted my sleep, it became this vicious cycle where not sleeping makes your work worse, make worse decisions.”

From raising £1m from crowdfunding in 96 seconds, to how he scaled personally alongside the bank, to building a culture from the very outset, to what made him leave Monzo – Tom is exceedingly candid in this interview, which was recorded just a few weeks after his departure.

Don’t miss this hugely insightful episode from one of Europe’s top founders and CEOs – it’s something all entrepreneurs need to hear.

We chat about:

  • Crowdfunding Monzo
  • Building a culture from the start
  • Entrepreneurship and mental health
  • His decision process to leave Monzo



The Secret Leaders podcast features interviews with key figures from the UK tech and creative ecosystem. From entrepreneurs (both early and latter stage), to journalists, VCs - and even royalty - the series profiles those who have helped shape the nation's culture of innovation and growth.

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