Kambi CEO Nylén Stepping Down, Joining Board

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The new year will bring a new CEO to Kambi as chief executive Kristian Nylén told the board he is stepping down.

Nylén, one of the B2B sports betting tech provider’s co-founders, is not disappearing completely. The board nominated him as one of two new board members, which he said he is “honored” to accept.

“As co-founder, my heart and professional allegiance remain firmly with Kambi, therefore, I am honored to accept the Nomination Committee’s proposal to join the Board,” he said in the Monday announcement. “Pending my election at the forthcoming AGM, I look forward to focusing more intensively on the strategic aspects of our business, however, my immediate attention remains on driving Kambi forward in my current role.”

Nylén called the decision to step down once a new CEO is appointed difficult, but said it is mostly driven by wanting to spend more time with his family.

Fellow co-founder praises Nylén’s work

Anders Ström, Kambi’s other co-founder and current chair of the board, thanked Nylén for the past 14 years of work.

“Kristian’s role has been critical in positioning Kambi as a frontrunner in our sector,” Ström said. “His strategic foresight and unwavering commitment have been central to our many achievements over the years. I am delighted the Nomination Committee has proposed Kristian for the Board, where his extensive industry knowledge will continue to greatly benefit Kambi.”

Joining the board reflects Nylén’s dedication to Kambi and also ensures “a consistent and stable strategic course for the company,” Ström said. The search for a new CEO starts immediately, he added.

Transition comes at key time for Kambi

The departure of Nylén, who joined Unibet in 2000 and has served as Kambi CEO since it was spun off from Unibet in 2010, comes at a crucial time for Kambi.

Kambi was a key partner for multiple US sportsbooks after the fall of PASPA in May 2018, but industry trends have since shifted. Former partners like DraftKings and Penn Entertainment made major tech acquisitions to end their reliance on third-party suppliers and cut recurring costs.

About half of the company’s third quarter revenue came from the Americas segment, which includes Latin America. Until California and Texas launch, Latin America will probably be the market that sees the most growth for Kambi, Nylén said on the company’s November conference call.

Kambi still works with US operators like longtime partner BetRivers and recent addition Bally Bet.

Kambi adding another industry vet to board

Along with re-electing four board members and the proposal to add Nylén, Kambi also intends to add Benjie Cherniak to its board.

Cherniak is currently an investor and advisor in the iGaming world but has a significant sports betting background. He served as principal and managing director of Don Best Sports from 2007 to 2018.

He also served as a managing director of Scientific Games after it bought Don Best.

Shareholders will vote on Cherniak and Nylén’s addition to the board at its general meeting on May 21.