CEO and co-founder of Kambi, Kristian Nylén, has notified the board of his intention to step down from his current position during the year, upon the appointment of a successor.
Nylén co-founded Kambi with Anders Strom in 2010. He has since built the company into one of the industry’s leading sportsbook suppliers.
It is understood that Nylén’s decision to resign is driven by his desire to spend more time with his family.
Commenting, Nylén said: “The decision to stand down from my position at Kambi after so many enjoyable years has been difficult, but one predominantly driven by my desire to spend more time with my young and growing family.”
Nylén plans to stand down from his current position during the year, upon the appointment of a successor.
The market has so far not reacted too heavily to the news. At the time of writing, Kambi’s share price was down 1.83%, to SEK160.50 (€14.79/ £12.29/ $15.69).
Timing of Nylén’s resignation
Nylén’s announcement follows a period of sustained growth for Kambi. The company will hope to continue building on the success of its Q3 earnings.
During this time revenue increased by 15.0% to €42.1m (£36.3m/$46.1m).
This was all the more impressive given the group’s loss of Penn Entertainment, with the group posting year-on-year growth across divisions.
EBITDA during the period was up 3% to €13.9m at a slightly uplifted margin of 11.0%. Kambi also said net profit increased 34.6% to €3.5m.
At the time, Nylén said he was confident Kambi’s progress in Q3 and since puts it on track to achieve long-term financial targets.
The supplier expects a global addressable market of around €50bn GGR by 2027. In total, the company’s 2027 financial targets are revenue of 2-3x FY2022 levels (approximately €330m to €500m) and EBIT in excess of €150m.
Nylén has previously stated that the supplier expects its new focus on selling modular services rather than an entire sportsbook would play a major role in its growth.
“Kambi is well established as the market-leading B2B sportsbook with a product only few operators can compete with,” Nylén commented at the time.
“As we look to push product boundaries even further and deliver high-quality modular services, we are in a strong position to evolve our business model and capitalise on the growing revenue opportunity of an expanding global sports betting market.”
Nylén to be appointed to board position
This morning’s announcement follows an initial communication that Kambi’s nomination committee has proposed Nylén for election to the board.
A vote will take place at the forthcoming 2024 annual general meeting (AGM), held in May. If approved, Nylén will serve on the board until at least the 2025 AGM.
“As co-founder, my heart and professional allegiance remain firmly with Kambi, therefore, I am honoured to accept the nomination committee’s proposal to join the board.
“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 added.
Kambi: changes at the top
Nylén’s resignation follows continued changes at Kambi, with the appointment of co-founder Anders Ström as its new chair in November 2023.
This came after Lars Stugemo opted to step down following almost 10 years in the role.
At the time, Stugemo stepped aside with immediate effect after saying he did not intend to seek re-election at the Kambi AGM 2024.
Ström will serve as chair until the AGM, where his appointment will be formally proposed.
Stugemo remains a member of the nomination committee. This is through his nomination by Veralda Investment, the largest shareholder in Kambi.
In taking on the role, Ström extended his affiliation with the business he helped launch. After launching Kindred Group in 1997, he co-founded Kambi with Nylén in 2010.
Kambi board comments on Nylén’s resignation
Anders Ström, chair of the board, focused on Nylén’s “vital contributions” to Kambi in the company’s announcement.
“Kristian’s role has been critical in positioning Kambi as a frontrunner in our sector. 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.”
In continuing to serve the company as board member, Strom hopes that he will continue to create value for the company and its shareholders.
Ström added: “His potential transition to a board position reflects his enduring dedication to Kambi as both a founder and a major shareholder, while also ensuring a consistent and stable strategic course for the company.
“The search for a new CEO will commence immediately and we will provide updates as they become available.”
Benjie Cherniak also nominated as board member
The nomination committee has also proposed adding Benjie Cherniak to the Kambi board. Canadian national Cherniak is an independent investor and advisor in the igaming space.
Previously, Cherniak served as managing director of Scientific Games, now known as Light & Wonder. This followed the acquisition of Don Best Sports, where he was principal and managing director from 2007 to 2018.
Like Nylén, Cherniak would join the board after May’s AGM and remain in the role for at least one year.