FanDuel founder Eccles departs ‘for new venture’

Nigel Eccles

New York and Edinburgh-based fantasy sports firm FanDuel announced late on Monday that CEO Nigel Eccles, who co-founded the company in 2009, is leaving the company and stepping down from the board “to focus on his next venture.”

Matt King, who was chief financial officer of FanDuel from 2014 to 2016, has been named CEO and will join the board, effective immediately.

Eccles tweeted: “Excited but a little bit sad to be leaving FanDuel.

“It has been an amazing eight years.

“Really excited to see how Matt King and the team drive the company in 2018 and beyond.

“For me I’m building something awesome in eSports. Watch this space.”

The FanDuel board said in a statement: “Nigel achieved something remarkable — he completely redefined an existing industry.

“His passion, intelligence, and focus have been the bedrock of FanDuel’s success.

“We would like to offer our sincere thanks as he leaves to pursue his next venture.

“We are excited to work with Matt again.

“He is an exceptional executive who knows the business intimately, and has a clear vision for its next phase of growth.”

King was most recently an equity partner and the president of regional operations and corporate development at ‎insurance firm Cottingham & Butler.

Before joining FanDuel in 2014, King was a Director at Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts and Co., as well as at KKR Capstone for 11 years where he focused on building new lines of business for KKR, due diligence on new investments, and improving the operating performance of KKR’s portfolio companies.

Before joining KKR, King was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he served clients in a broad range of industries from insurance to petroleum.

He will be based in FanDuel’s New York headquarters.

“With his strategic vision, range of experiences, and broad skillset, I cannot imagine a better individual to steer FanDuel forward,” said Eccles.

“With tremendous legislative strides in the past two years and the business moving into profitability in Q4, FanDuel is in a great position.

“I know Matt is the leader to capitalize on the momentum in the sports technology space to take FanDuel to the next level.”

FanDuel also announced that Carl Vogel has been named chairman, and David Nathanson will join the firm as an independent director.

FanDuel said Vogel previously served as the vice-chairman and president of satellite broadcaster DISH Network Corp and CEO of Charter Communications.

FanDuel said Vogel currently serves as a director at various public companies focused on media distribution, content creation, and advanced technologies “that are relevant to FanDuel’s current and future business opportunities.”

Nathanson, an 18-year veteran of 21st Century FOX, held various roles at the company, including general manager & chief operating officer of FS1, president of TVG, and most recently, head of business operations of FOX Sports Media Group.

“It’s an incredible honor to return to FanDuel at such an exciting time for the company,” said King.

“Over the past eight years, Nigel has built one of the most disruptive companies in the sports world.

“I look forward to working with our talented team to make FanDuel the place for fans to engage with sports they love in new and exciting ways.”