Wonga CEO steps down

Wonga’s CEO and co-founder Errol Damelin is to step back from the day to day running of the company to become its chairman, a move he says will allow him time to focus on the long-term strategy for the controversial payday lender.


Damelin will be replaced in the CEO role by chief operating officer and former Niall Wass, who has been leading Wonga’s recent “12 portraits” short films marketing drive, a charm offensive designed to make people reconsider the types of people that use its service. 

Wass says in a statement about the management changes that Wonga has “only scratched the surface” of what it wants to achieve in its “revolutionary approach to global financial services”.

He joined Wonga from Betfair where he was chief commercial officer, responsible for all sales, marketing and business development both in the UK and internationally. Prior to taking on that role in 2011, Wass was Betfair’s chief marketing and development officer.

Damelin has served as Wonga’s CEO since founding the company in 2006.

He says: “These changes will free up my time to focus on where Wonga should be heading in the next decade, as we continue to develop as an international digital finance business.”

Wonga, along with the wider payday loan industry, has come under heavy criticism from some consumer groups and politicians over the way it treats customers. The mounting concerns led to the recently formed Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) promising to toughen regulation of the burgeoning sector when it assumes responsibility for it next year. 

Wonga reported a 36 per cent jump in profit to £62m in 2012, driven by increased demand for loans form “digitally savvy” consumers.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here