Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers is resigning from LendingClub’s board of directors, the company announced Wednesday.

The Silicon Valley lender did not give an explanation for Summers’ decision to step down. It said that he will depart after the firm’s annual meeting later this year.

“It has been a privilege to work with my fellow board members and with the LendingClub management team over the last six years,” Summers said in a press release.

Summers joined LendingClub’s board in December 2012, which was during the early days of the online lending boom. His tenure included the firm’s initial public offering in December 2014 and the high-profile ouster of CEO Renaud Laplanche in May 2016.

He has been a vocal champion of the online lending industry, arguing in a 2015 speech that incumbent financial institutions were failing to meet borrowers’ needs, and calling on regulators to give tech-focused challengers a chance to compete.

Photo of Larry Summers. He was Treasury secretary under President Clinton, director of the National Economic Council under President Obama, and president of Harvard University.
Power broker
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers joined LendingClub’s board in December 2012, which was during the early days of the online lending boom, and has urged regulators to give tech-focused upstarts a chance to compete. Bloomberg News


Summers, an economist by training, had previously been Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama and president of Harvard University.

LendingClub, of San Francisco, also said Wednesday that another prominent economist, Susan Athey of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, has joined its board.

Athey’s research focuses on financial technology and the impact of the internet and social media on consumer behavior, among other topics. Like Summers, she is a onetime recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, which is awarded to the best American economist under the age of 40.

“What drew me to LendingClub is quite simply the model,” Athey said in the press release. “A digital marketplace that connects borrowers with investors to simplify access to credit benefits both sides and provides real value.”

LendingClub’s board also includes former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack, the venture capitalist Mary Meeker and Fannie Mae CEO Timothy Mayopoulos.

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