Simon Bladon leaves Barclays for PayPal UK CEO position

Simon Bladon leaves Barclays for PayPal UK CEO position

Simon Bladon is taking over the reins as CEO of PayPal UK, marking the latest major appointment in a series of senior level reshuffles at the payments provider.

The new addition to the firm’s C-level management will take on responsibility for its UK-facing operations following full regulatory approval, bringing with him extensive experience of the banking sector.

“New year, new chapter!” Bladon wrote on LinkedIn. “I’m incredibly excited to have started today as CEO of PayPal UK, subject to regulatory approval. 

“PayPal is an organisation with incredible heritage, reach and ambition to help millions of people and small businesses fulfil their dreams, ambitions and goals through accessing and thriving in the global financial economy. 

“I’m very much looking forward to meeting my new colleagues and together playing a part in realising PayPal’s mission in the UK. Whatever your 2024 journey brings – wishing you all health, happiness and peace along the way.”

Bladon’s career history includes two tenures with Barclays, the first beginning in 2004 when he joined the firm as Director – Head of Legal EMEA, before taking on two different Managing Director (MD) roles.

In 2018, he took on another leading position at the Bank as MD – Head of Risk, Governance and Control for Barclays Ventures, the LSE firm’s investment arm targeting technology, data and strategic partnerships.

Upon leaving Barclays this year to take on UK leadership duties at PayPal, Bladon held the position of MD – Customer & Digital – Head of Operations and Control and Group Consumer Duty Lead, his fifth MD position at the bank.

He joins PayPal UK at a time of heightened economic sensitivity in the country, with the impacts of the costs-of-living crisis and rising inflation hampering the economy, including the payments and fintech space.

However, 2023 was a year of continuing innovation for payments, and observers project a continuation of this in 2023. PayPal has been engaging heavily with technological development, notably exploring an expansion of its crypto and blockchain activity last year.

This exploration into blockchain and cryptocurrencies saw the launch of PayPal’s native stablecoin, PYUSD, marking the first time a major payment service has released its own digital currency to the market. 

The addition of Bladon to PayPal C-level leadership also marks continued expansion of its senior team. Suzan Kereere was appointed President of Global Markets in December 2023, assuming her position on 1 January 2024.

Commenting on her appointment, Kereere said: “I’ve dedicated my career to driving innovation in the payments industry and have long been inspired by PayPal. I’m delighted to join PayPal to serve this iconic brand and deliver on the mission to empower consumers and businesses to reach their full potential.”