Before his string of executive-level roles at Twitter, the NFL and now as CEO of the high-flying $13 billion personal finance company SoFi, Anthony Noto was a West Point U.S. Military Academy cadet and then a U.S. Army officer. Noto has credited his time at West Point as having given him “the skills that I would use for the rest of my life.”
Noto played as a linebacker for West Point’s football team. The Wall Street Journal reported Noto graduated near the top of his class at West Point with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Noto went on to serve as a communications officer in the Army, he told AdWeek in 2017. Noto’s military career also included volunteering for Army Ranger School and he serving for four years with the 24th Infantry Division before retiring from the service as a captain, Money Inc reported. He was discharged in 1995 and then earned an M.B.A. from Wharton in 1999.
In a 2014 interview with the Wharton Business School magazine, Noto said, “I chose West Point for reasons beyond academics. It was about getting more than an academic degree. It was also an education in leadership. I went to West Point to build the skills that I would use for the rest of my life. For me, it wasn’t about being in the military. Serving in the military was the price I was willing to pay for the lessons I’d learn along the way.”
In a Veteran’s Day interview with CNBC last year, Noto said, “I think it’s critically important that people serve and give back to their country and help sustain our way of life, that democracy that we all benefit from.”
In 1999, the same year he graduated from Wharton, Noto joined Goldman Sachs. In 2008, nine years after joining Goldman Sachs, Noto became the chief financial officer (CFO) for the National Football League, and thus began a string of executive-level stints at major companies.
Noto returned to Goldman Sachs in 2010 and in 2013 helped the company become the lead bank underwriting Twitter during its initial public offering, according to the Financial Times.
In 2014, just eight months after Twitter became a publicly traded company, Noto replaced Twitter CFO Mike Gupta.
In 2018, Noto took the role of CEO for the online personal finance company, SoFi. According to The Motley Fool, SoFi’s founder and original CEO, Mike Cagney, was ousted from the company in 2017 over complaints of toxic corporate culture that one former employee described as a “frat house” atmosphere. Under Noto’s leadership, The Motley Fool reported SoFi’s company culture has been fixed and Noto has changed the company’s direction and pulling back on loan volume objectives that favored the quantity of loans over their quality, causing the company to rapidly burn cash on loans.
The personal finance company SoFi has seen rising popularity among online retail traders since it went public. SoFi, which is short for Social Finance, is a free trading and investing platform similar to others like Robinhood that provides investing tools to retail investors. Noto has described SoFi as a “one-stop shop to do all your financial service needs at one platform.”
This year, SoFi merged with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya and SoFi stock began publicly trading in June of this year.
A SoFi spokesperson told American Military News that the company has a recruiting director focused on military recruitment and an employee resource group called “Vets at SoFi” for military veterans and their family members and friends.
This article was updated to clarify Noto’s self-described duties as a “communications officer” which should not be confused with his official MOS.