German fintech N26’s chief product officer (CPO), Gilles BianRosa, is stepping down in September.
BianRosa will be taking up a new role as COO in a US-based company which he is yet to announce, but he will continue to work with N26 as a member of the fintech’s supervisory board, starting in September.
Until a new CPO is appointed, BianRosa’s responsibilities will be handed over to other leaders in the product team (who the company declined to name). BianRosa oversaw a team of 100 product and UX designers and worked closely with 700 engineers over his two-and-a-half-year tenure.
Founded in 2013, N26 is Germany’s most valuable fintech at $9bn. It’s raised approximately $1.3bn to date from investors such as Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Tencent and Coatue, and has 1,500 employees across 24 markets globally.
BianRosa’s departure follows a string of executives who have stepped down in the last year, including its chief growth officer and early employee Alex Weber, chief financial officer (CFO) Jan Kemper and chief risk officer Thomas Grosse.
Despite having a history of high staff turnover and reports of a poor internal culture, the average tenure of N26’s executive team is over six years, which the fintech says is above average for the industry.
At the same time, it has also bagged some new prize hires, such as Arnd Schwierholz — who was formerly CFO at global mobility provider Flix and German airline Air Berlin — and who joined N26 in January this year.
A board reshuffle
N26 added several new members to its board in November 2022 to “grow its competencies,” it says, across areas such as banking and finance.
This could also provide a good signal to German financial regulator BaFin, which has been closely monitoring the bank since 2021 over its failure to instill effective money laundering controls.
BianRosa will be a good fit for N26’s board since the company has been actively looking for people to join who have operational experience within scaleups, the company says.
“By appointing Gilles, we are able to augment the board's existing expertise with someone who has intimate knowledge of our company, and decades of experience scaling product-led businesses and delivering quality consumer products,” it told Sifted.
BianRosa launched several important products during his time at the company, including N26 Crypto, interest-bearing savings accounts, and local products like payments app Bizum in Spain and a similar product, iDEAL, in the Netherlands.