Wonga loses third chief executive in disastrous year

Tim Weller only lasted six months on the job at troubled payday lender

Crisis-hit payday lender Wonga has lost its third chief executive in a year.

Tim Weller, who took over as interim chief executive in May, is understood to have left the role in October, but his departure was only revealed today due by company filings.

Weller replaced Niall Wass, who himself only lasted six months as boss. Wass took over from Wonga’s founder Errol Damelin, who stepped down last November. Sources say Weller’s exit was by mutual consent and he will still advise the board.

The stream of executives out the door comes as Wonga deals with a reputational crisis. It was revealed earlier this year that Wonga sent letters from fake law firms to customers for debt collection purposes and the company’s TV ads have also been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority.

 

Last month the company announced plans to write off £220 million of customer debt and introduced new affordability checks after discussions with regulators.

Chairman Andy Haste, who joined in July, said: “At a critical time for Wonga, when we will complete our forbearance programme, prepare to apply for FCA authorisation and introduce a cap-compliant product, I’m taking an even more active role in leading the business.

“Tim Weller therefore stepped down as interim CEO in October. This was a mutual decision, following a comprehensive handover, and will ensure clear leadership in the weeks and months ahead. I want to thank Tim for his three years in the business as Chief Financial Officer.

“Our search for a permanent group chief executive is well underway and Tara Kneafsey, our new UK Managing Director, will join us in December.”

Kneafsey joins from insurer RSA and will be charged with overhauling the UK business.

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