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Marqeta CEO seeks his own replacement

Lucinda Shen
Aug 11, 2022
Marqeta CEO Jason Gardner.

Marqeta CEO Jason Gardner/Axios Visuals

Marqeta's Jason Gardner is preparing to step down as CEO and has launched a search for his successor. Gardner revealed the news during the company's second quarter earnings report on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Executing on the $6 billion company's strategy will soon fall to someone else other than Gardner, who also founded the firm and has helmed it for 12 years.

Context: Fintech companies have been trying to reinvigorate investor confidence in their businesses. And in this case, Gardner's decision would please the company's largest shareholder: Himself.

Driving the news: Gardner says he is seeking a replacement who has experience as an executive in a public company. He plans to become Executive Chairman once a replacement is found.

  • "Ultimately, I felt like I'm not the best person to execute as the CEO in this upcoming stage of growth, which is far more dynamic... more complex." Gardner told Axios.
  • Becoming executive chairman would allow him to focus on the company's long-term vision, he says.

Of note: Gardner joins a growing line of tech CEOs who have recently stepped down and assumed chairman roles to focus on company vision.

Context: Marqeta has been hard hit by the broader fintech sell-off. The California-based payments and card-issuing company went public in June 2021, and rose as high as $18 billion in market capitalization in November. It's now valued at about $6 billion.

Zooming in: Gardner's decision comes as Marqeta is looking to turn a profit while diversifying its revenue streams both internationally and within its customer base.

  • Notably, Marqeta is currently heavily reliant on Block, formerly known as Square. About 69% of the company's $186.6 million revenue came from the Jack Dorsey-founded business.
  • While that was a boon for Marqeta during the pandemic, it's become a source of anxiety for analysts given the risks of being tied to one volatile client.

Looking forward: Gardner anticipates staying on as CEO for the next several months "at least" during the search period.

  • He added that he has no interest in selling the company and, in fact, will be actively seeking out potential acquisition targets.
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