Humm (ASX: HUM) CEO, Rebecca James, has announced she will step down after leading the fintech for five years, with former Bank of Queensland (BOQ) chief executive Stuart Grimshaw to take over as top boss next month.
In an ASX announcement, James revealed she accepted a new job in New Zealand in order to be closer to family and would remain in her role until the end of May.
Before taking charge of Humm, she was the chief marketing and enterprise officer of financial management platform Prospa (ASX: PGL), and had also held senior executive roles at Melbourne-based bank ME and advertising agency CX Lavender.
“When I joined the company in 2018, I laid out a strategic vision to digitise humm, remove unnecessary and duplicate costs and grow a strong consumer and commercial business,” James said.
“I am delighted to have achieved those goals and I am proud to say that today we have the swiftest decision and settlement timeframes in the industry and a market-leading credit capability.
“I would like to thank the entire hummgroup team for their continued focus and dedication and I look forward to watching their continued success.”
The news of James’ departure comes almost a year since Latitude broke off a $250 million deal for Humm’s consumer finance business, leading to the departure of five Humm board members who expressed support for the acquisition. The members said they could not remain on the board with Humm founder and shareholder Andrew Abercrombie, who believed the deal was undervalued.
Grimshaw, who left BOQ in 2014 to take on a role at US-based pawn shop operator EZCorp, joined the board shortly after the turmoil.
Prior to taking charge of BOQ in 2011, Grimshaw was CEO of boutique investment fund Caledonia, and also spent seven years at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) as well as four years at National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB).
Grimshaw will be paid a $925,000 annual salary for the new gig, along with a $150,000 sign-on bonus, a potential maximum short-term bonus of $508,000, in addition to a long-term incentive package of $3.5 million in Humm shares.
“I am excited to step into the role of CEO at hummgroup and build on the strong foundation laid by Rebecca,” Grimshaw said.
“With the support of the board and the talented team at hummgroup, I am confident that we can continue to drive profitable growth and success for the company and its shareholders.”
Humm chairman Abercrombie added that Rebecca’s resilience guided the company through a period of unprecedented challenge and that he was personally very grateful to her for her leadership and strength of character.
“On behalf of the board I would like to sincerely thank Rebecca for her significant contribution to the business. During her tenure she helped the company relaunch its point-of-sale instalment offering, cementing its place as the leader in bigger ticket purchases,” he said.
“She has also been responsible for re-orientating our commercial business to focus on SME lending through the broker channel – which is now growing volumes at over 50 per cent year on year.
“From inherited credit difficulties, to the arrival of extensive competition, to pandemic lock-downs curtailing point of sale and impacting our travel vertical and working through an incredibly disruptive and failed sale of the consumer business, Rebecca has managed a consistently profitable business.”
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