Citi Fintech Loses CEO Before It Launches a Single Product

canstockphoto34291880Citi Fintech launched in the fall of 2015 to build the bank of the future, but it has yet to release a product.

Now Citigroup‘s innovation unit has lost its CEO.

USAA announced today that Citi Fintech CEO Heather Cox was joining the bank as chief technology and digital officer, a new role at USAA. Specifically, Cox will lead all of USAA’s IT, digital and member experience design teams.

Cox will report to Stuart Parker, USAA’s CEO. Christopher Cox, currently USAA’s chief digital officer, will report to Heather Cox, USAA told Bank Innovation.

Cox will be replaced at Citi Fintech on an interim basis by Yolande Piazza, the unit’s current chief administrative officer. Cox joined Citi in 2014 from Capital One Financial Corp., where she was executive vice president of card operations.

In her time at Citi as head of client experience, digital and marketing in the consumer bank, Cox oversaw the revamping of Citi’s online and mobile experience, and launch of several products ahead of industry peers, including an Apple Watch app and the ability to check balances outside the login area of the mobile app. But no new innovation products have been launched via Citi Fintech since Cox took the helm.

Early this summer, Citi was trotting out Cox — a 2016 Bank Innovation Innovator to Watch — as a star of its innovation initiatives. Famously, Cox headed the team at E*Trade that in 2004 was the first to offer to remote check deposit through a website. She also purportedly coined the term “fintegrate,” which means integrate financial products offered by other banks.

It is hard to view her departure as a positive sign for Citi Fintech, which has said that it plans to release its first consumer product later this year.



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