Tom Blomfield launched Monzo Bank, in 2015. It is now worth £1bn. But he walked away from the business at the start of the year, after he realised running the business had taken its toll on his mental health.
“As CEO, I never switched off” – Monzo’s Tom Blomfield
I stepped down as CEO in January 2020 and then left fully in February of this year. Right now, I’m technically unemployed, which is great. I don’t miss having a diary that’s packed out from 8am to 8pm. When I decided to leave, it felt like a physical weight had been lifted.
As CEO, I never switched off.
I found it impossible to stop thinking about the latest problem. I stopped sleeping.
The pressure was exacerbated by lots of press attention and the increased responsibility that comes as you scale. And then Covid hit – and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We were supposed to close a £100m investment round and the investors pulled the term sheets as we went into lockdown. We lost 50% of our revenue overnight and had to make redundancies. That’s when I spoke to the board and said I need to make some changes. It didn’t come as a surprise: we had been discussing this move for 18 months.
But my chairman had always said: “Maybe in two years. Let’s figure out how to reconfigure your role so you’re not doing three jobs at once.”