Oxygen Hires Head of Operations and Operations Product Management, Michael Garris


SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA; September 10, 2019 – Michael Garris has joined Oxygen as Head of Operations and Operations Product Management. Garris hails from Bank of America, where he held Risk and Operations leadership roles in the mortgage and HELOC division during the financial crisis. Garris says, “This was a great chance to learn about managing risk and implementing change.” His most recent companies include Prosper and Solar Mosaic. Garris notes:

“I took the ‘fintech-leap’ in 2015 by joining Prosper, leading a function called Operations Innovation. My primary mandate was helping scale the company in an efficient and tech-driven way. At Mosaic, I led the Loan Operations Team, which was a great chance to build a complex operations team and establish the originations processes that enabled over $1.5B in loans.”


Hussein Ahmed, Oxygen’s CEO and Founder, initially began to recruit for the role in the summer of 2019. “With the speed at which Oxygen has been growing and our consistent determination to offer the best digital banking product in the market, we needed an expert to take charge of designing and building out our customer-facing and financial operations processes. Ahmed also adds that “Mike is innovative and likes to push the envelope - he is exactly the type of person we needed in this role.” 

Garris also adds, “What stood out to me about Oxygen is the breadth of its vision. There are many fintechs that are disintermediating specific banking services. Oxygen is aiming to be a one-stop shop for all of the financial needs of freelancers, which is a really interesting challenge.”  Garris spent some of his career as a consultant, so he knows the financial issues that can arise for 1099 workers. “True to the mission of the company,” he says, “I was actually a consultant at Oxygen before I joined full-time, which gave me the chance to get to know the team and product first. I quickly saw that the team is both intelligent and scrappy; a great combination for a fintech. I was also excited by the big challenge of building core banking services from the ground up. I knew this would call forth all of my past experiences.” 

Ahmed notes that Garris’s dual experience in fintech spaces, as well as large corporate banks like Bank of America, makes him a valuable asset to the Oxygen team. “Given Mike’s background at both BoA and Prosper and Solar Mosaic,” says Ahmed, “we know he will have the expansive knowledge base necessary to work with the Oxygen team, the company’s vendors, and execute our vision in managing products’ supporting operations.” 

The Oxygen team is excited to have Garris on board, noting that his knowledge and skill base are going to be extremely valuable across all departments. Chief Risk Officer Dianne Clapp says, “We are lucky to have Mike join us at Oxygen. His credit operations and product experience will help us to deliver strong value to our freelancer 1099 customer target. He is a thoughtful problem solver and will be a solid addition to the team.” Chief Compliance Officer Jonathan Consalvo adds, “He definitely has the know-how we’re looking for–we’re really excited to have him on board.”

Oxygen is a digital banking platform that caters to gig economy workers–also known as the 1099 nation. This growing population of gig-workers makes more than $1.4 trillion in 1099 income annually but has been locked out of lending services because of their sometimes volatile income and a lack of a permanent employer. Oxygen has developed unique AI models that track bills, project income and provide instant credit when needed. The fast-growing fintech startup offers checking accounts and debit cards, and access to a line of credit to make banking easier in the age of gig economy. For more information, please visit www.oxygenbank.com.

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Mariam Helmy