Today, the Wall Street Journal broke the story that Prosper CEO Aaron Vermut is stepping down as CEO. This afternoon Prosper has released an official statement confirming this story. What we now know is that current Chief Financial Officer David Kimball will be replacing Aaron as CEO effective December 1st. David has been with the company since March of this year when he joined Prosper from USAA.
Aaron has been the CEO of Prosper since March, 2014 when he, Steve Vermut (Executive Chairman) and Ron Suber (President) first took the company under their control. Sources have also told Lend Academy that Steve Vermut will be stepping down as Executive Chairman and leaving the company.
Aaron Vermut will continue to serve as a director at the company. We contacted Ron Suber and he said in a brief statement that he is staying with Prosper and is fully committed to supporting the new CEO David Kimball.
When I was at Prosper’s office in San Francisco a few weeks ago I sat down with Aaron Vermut and Ron Suber for a chat. At the time I couldn’t help but notice that Aaron seemed a bit burned out. It has been a very tough year for everyone in the industry and I think Prosper has had it tougher than most. At the time I remember wondering to myself how long Aaron would be sticking around.
I know there will be rumors that he was pushed out by the board or by one of their large investors. Sources inside Prosper dismissed any speculation about the reason, and cited Aaron’s desire to step away from the day to day to take on a more strategic role as a board member. It seems that after almost four years Aaron felt like it was best for the company that he step aside and allow a fresh set of legs to lead Prosper.
I met David Kimball briefly on my last visit and I look forward to getting to know him better. I like the fact that he has a deep background in financial services, he spent 10 years at USAA and many years before that at Ford Motor Credit. He is an experienced banker-type executive and he may be just what Prosper needs for this new chapter.
Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of LendIt Fintech, the world’s first and largest digital media and events company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series. Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times, and dozens of other publications.