Dear Kiva Community,

After 10 years leading Kiva, I have decided to step down as CEO. First off, I want to express my utmost respect and gratitude to all of you. You’ve not only brought Kiva to life, but you've also brought so much meaning and inspiration to my own life. After many ongoing conversations, I've decided it's time to embark on a new chapter.

Personal life changes (e.g. family health issues, getting married next month!) make this the right time to pause and reflect on life outside of Kiva.  I also consider myself more of an inventor than a manager. A larger organization needs someone who gets daily energy out of scaling to new heights —as opposed to dreaming up new things.

This difficult decision is made far easier knowing Kiva has a solid foundation and is in a great place. We are financially healthy and growing.  Because of you, Kiva has reached incredible milestones: 1.3 million small businesses funded, nearly $600 million in loans. And we’re innovating new ways to reach new populations: 

Kiva Labs -- Microfinance 2.0: lets Kiva lenders finance sustainable solutions in water access, health, higher education and clean energy for underserved populations around the world.
Kiva Zip: a direct lending pilot powered by technology and trust, serving borrowers in Kenya and the United States.
Kiva U: a movement to empower young people—from K-12 to college—with the opportunity to become informed, inspired and mobilized global citizens.

What’s next at Kiva? 

As we go into this transition, I feel confident we’re in good hands. Our President and my wonderful co-pilot for the last 9 years Premal Shah, will continue to lead the company. Premal and Kiva’s highly skilled Management Team will be supported by our Executive Board Chair, Julie Hanna, who has led Kiva’s board for the past 5 years. We’re lucky to have such great leadership continuity.

And I’m not leaving Kiva! While I’ll miss working at Kiva day in, day out—I remain on the Board of Directors, and as Co-Founder will always be a passionate ambassador for Kiva’s mission.

I’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity of your huge hearts. This community created by you has grown beyond anything I could’ve imagined. 1 million+ small businesses in 75 countries whose hard work and dreams have inspired not only me, but the 1 million+ Kiva lenders, staff, Kiva Fellows, editors & translators, interns, lending teams, supporters and Board of Directors.

I’m sending the Kiva community my love and best wishes. You've stood behind Kiva and continue to stand by the millions of people who share our dream.


About the author

Matt Flannery

Matt began developing Kiva in late 2004 as a side-project while working as a computer programmer at TiVo, Inc. In December 2005 Matt left his job to devote himself to Kiva full-time. As CEO, Matt led Kiva's growth from a pilot project to an established online service with partnerships across the globe and hundreds of millions in dollars loaned to low income entrepreneurs. Matt was a Skoll Awardee and Ashoka Fellow and was selected to FORTUNE magazine's "Top 40 under 40" list in 2009.  In 2011, Matt was chosen for the The Economist “No Boundaries” Innovation Award.   He graduated with a BS in Symbolic Systems and a Masters in Philosophy from Stanford University.