Credit score Karma’s Nichole Mustard is leaving the corporate she cofounded 16 years in the past to hook up shoppers with free entry to their credit score knowledge, after which helped develop it into the world’s most dear VC-backed private finance firm. Mustard, the chief income officer since 2014, is Credit score Karma’s third recognized prime government to announce exit plans this yr.
A Credit score Karma spokesperson confirmed her departure, providing this temporary assertion: “I can affirm Nichole Mustard determined to go away the corporate, her contributions have been vital, and we want her properly.”
Intuit, proprietor of TurboTax and QuickBooks, acquired Credit Karma mere weeks into the pandemic for a steep $7.1 billion. By then, the startup had given billions of credit score stories away, and boasted some 100 million customers. Credit score Karma’s success following Intuit’s buy, which marked one in every of 2020’s largest fintech buys, received Mustard accolades from main enterprise publications including Fast Company. Her present estimated internet price, in line with Forbes, is $390 million.
However Intuit’s acquisition by no means proved to be a large monetary boon. Credit score Karma cited “revenue challenges” in late 2022, and Intuit acknowledged in August that Credit score Karma’s income had declined by 9% for the fiscal yr 2023, to $1.6 billion.
Mustard’s exit from an organization she reared from its child levels additionally marks 2023’s third departure by a key member of the C-suite. Credit score Karma’s first chief individuals officer, Colleen McCreary, who joined in 2018, left the corporate again in January. As soon as out the door, she blogged cryptically that she’d realized “some corporations need a sure type of cookie — and solely that cookie.”
“I could also be a peanut butter chocolate chip (possibly a little bit allergic at first ????)” she wrote on Medium, however “that workforce cultivated solely chocolate chip. . . . Certain, a few of what they stated was true, but additionally I used to be by no means going to slot in.”
In September, Credit score Karma’s chief advertising and marketing officer Greg Lull announced his personal plans to resign, explaining he’d pivot into tasks associated to AI, effectivity, and inside tooling as a substitute.
However the previous yr has been messy in different methods. Past the C-suite exodus, the FTC sued the company last year for allegedly working a advertising and marketing marketing campaign the place it despatched customers “false ‘pre-approved’ bank card affords” that ended up hurting their credit score scores. Two weeks in the past, the FTC announced the claims course of for purchasers harmed by these affords. (Credit score Karma, for its half, tells Quick Firm it “essentially disagree[s]” with the FTC’s allegations, arguing that it technically wasn’t the lender, and “ceased making [those statements] years in the past” anyway.) Regardless, the FTC says it has despatched notices to 497,425 shoppers who might be eligible for a cost.
In the meantime, information of Mustard’s resignation first surfaced final week on the nameless office app Blind—and Blind’s press workforce was fast to ship Quick Firm and different media retailers an emailed hyperlink to the Blind message, by a verified Credit score Karma worker, revealing Mustard was leaving (the message was titled “Was Credit Karma’s founder forced out?”). The e-mail, despatched by Blind’s head of press—who was additionally amongst Credit score Karma’s earliest in-house communications hires again in 2013—additionally supplied its personal context that Credit score Karma “has posted income declines each quarter this yr, usually the one Intuit enterprise unit to take action every quarter” (Credit score Karma really posted declines for the primary quarter of 2024, and the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2023, however not for the primary quarter of 2023).
As for Intuit, it announced last month that its common private budgeting app Mint, which boasted 20 million customers of its personal, can be closing at yr’s finish. Customers had been inspired to enroll in Credit score Karma, which is “excited to welcome” them to its suite of merchandise, the corporate spokesperson informed Quick Firm, together with the “capability to attach their monetary accounts to allow them to observe their . . . transactions, money move, and spending.”
However to prime off Credit score Karma’s yr, that welcome isn’t going totally the corporate’s manner to date, both. Various Mint customers are posting complaints on social media concerning the issues they’re encountering.