Bank of Queensland’s CEO Resigns
Stuart Grimshaw, the Bank of Queensland’s CEO since 2011, resigned suddenly on Wednesday. Bank of Queenland’s board had less than a day of notice, but have since appointed current chief operational office Jon Sutton as the interim CEO. Sutton previous ran Bankwest, a full-service bank based out of Perth.
Grimshaw is leaving his $2 million a year job with BoQ to become an executive chairman on the payday lender EZCorp, based out of the United States. He will be relocating to Austin, Texas for the position. In a statement following his announcement, Grimshaw stated that his new job is a “fantastic opportunity.”
The former New Zealand Olympic hockey player turned banking veteran had only been the CEO of the bank since 2011, when he joined after a short stint with SunCorp. The bank experienced a sharp loss of $17 million in 2012, but Grimshaw led the bank to a turnaround shortly thereafter. He has the potential to leave BoQ with around $4 million in bonus stock. He has 400,000 long-term bonuses that can convert to shares if the banks hit certain targets.
The suddenness of Grimshaw’s announcement has sparked scepticism in the market that there were ulterior motives to his resignation. The Bank of Queensland’s chairman Roger Davis has denied such a claim.
Davis has also stated that the bank is currently on track to earn $298 million in cash, which he confirmed was in line with analyst forecasts. He has spoken to the rest of the executive team since Grimshaw’s announcement, and has shared that the team has reasserted their commitment to the bank, and that it was business as usual.
Although BoQ was quick to name Sutton as the interim CEO, a search is currently underway for a more permanent option. They won’t be making a decision before Grimshaw leaves, as his last day will be in September. This is far sooner than the six-month notice required in his contract. However, a BoQ spokesperson shared that the board decided to release Grimshaw early “given their confidence in the management team and its ability to continue to deliver against the strategy.”
Information sourced from The Courier Mail.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.