Kambi CEO and Cofounder Kristian Nylén to Step Down

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Kristian Nylén, the CEO and cofounder of Kambi, has announced his intention to step down from his role at the company he started back in 2010.

Nylén cofounded Kambi with Anders Ström 14 year ago, and has since led the company to become one of the globally leading sportsbook technology suppliers.

It has provided sports betting tech for various U.S. gambling business heavyweights, including DraftKings, Bally Bet, and recently, Tribal operations offering sports betting in Kansas and Nebraska.

Nylén’s announcement comes after a period of sustained growth for Kambi, including a 15% revenue increase to €42.1m ($46.1m) in Q3​​​​​​.

The cofounder will be leaving his role as CEO, but not the company. He expects to be appointed to an advisory role on Kambi’s board after leaving his head position.

“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 said in a statement.

Kambi’s Stellar Performance

Under Nylén’s leadership, Kambi has experienced significant growth, including a recent increase in net profits for 2023. That comes despite losing out on a key client in Penn Entertainment’s axed Barstool Sports, which has now become ESPN Bet.

Kambi has set ambitious financial targets for 2027, aiming for revenue of 2-3 times FY2022 levels at approximately €400 million ($437.44 million).

Nylén has been instrumental in shifting Kambi’s focus toward selling modular services rather than entire sportsbooks, a strategy expected to play a major role in the company’s future growth. This approach has established Kambi as a leading B2B sportsbook tech developer, with a competitive product offering​​.

One illustration of this successful strategy is the contrast between Kambi and its once associated company, Kindred.

Nylén and Anders Ström previously worked for Unibet operator Kindred before spinning off Kambi as an independent operation in 2014.

Kambi has shown steady growth since then, and has had moderate success in the U.S. market. Compare that to Kindred’s Unibet, which ended up on our list of the biggest gambling business losses of 2023 after it decided to cut all ties with U.S. markets going into 2024.

Despite being one of the first foreign operators to launch for New Jersey sports betting in 2018, Kindred failed to make a big impact on the U.S. market with Unibet.

Kambi, meanwhile, has focused on B2B growth opportunities in the competitive scene, which has so fair paid off.

Transition to Board Position

Following his resignation, Nylén is expected to join the company’s board, a decision that will be voted on at the 2024 annual general meeting (AGM).

“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 said.

The recent appointment of cofounder Ström as the new chair of Kambi in November 2023 was another significant leadership change.

As Kambi moves forward with a new leadership structure, it faces the additional challenge of maintaining its growth trajectory and adapting to a competitive and ever-changing U.S. sports betting market.

“I am confident that Kristian’s insights and proficiency will persist in advancing the company and creating value for our shareholders,” said Ström.

“The search for a new CEO will commence immediately, and we will provide updates as they become available.”

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