SoFi hires exec from Amazon to lead deposit, card businesses

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The latest high-level hire at Social Finance is a former Jeff Bezos deputy who will oversee the San Francisco firm’s deposit, credit card and brokerage units.

Maria Renz, who spent 21 years at Amazon, joined SoFi on Wednesday as an executive vice president and group business unit leader. She reports to CEO Anthony Noto, who joined SoFi in 2018 from Twitter.

Maria Renz spent 21 years at Amazon, most recently leading its customer experience team.
Maria Renz spent 21 years at Amazon, most recently leading its customer experience team.

The hiring shows how much emphasis SoFi, which has been building out its menu of financial products, is putting on operations and customer experience.

Renz has no previous experience in financial services, but she does have an extensive background in consumer-facing businesses that have operational complexities. She joined Seattle-based Amazon in 1999, rising through the e-commerce giant’s ranks and eventually leading a team of 80,000 employees who provide customer service around the globe.

The three SoFi business-unit leaders who now report to Renz all have backgrounds in the financial services industry. Eugenia Gibbons, who heads SoFi Money, the company’s cash management account, is a former BBVA executive.

John Gardner, who leads SoFi’s investment, insurance and advisory unit, was previously a co-founder of the personal finance software firm LearnVest and chief operating officer at Cabezon Capital Management.

And Naga Parvatharajan, who heads SoFi’s credit card unit, formerly worked in Goldman Sachs’ consumer banking division. SoFi’s foray into the credit card business is expected to launch later this year in partnership with Mastercard.

SoFi, an eight-year-old fintech with roots in the student loan business, also offers mortgages and personal loans.

“We want people to go to the SoFi app on their phone every day,” Noto said in a 2018 interview with CNBC. “People want to borrow money, they want to save money, invest money, they have to spend money and they want to protect money. And our goal is to fill out that complete assortment and to do that better than anyone else.”

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