Esports and online betting company Esports Entertainment Group has named Alex Igelman as its new Chief Executive Officer. The firm confirmed the appointment last Friday, ahead of the new year. The move follows the recent departure of Grant Johnson, who served as Chairman and CEO, which was made public on December 3.
Igelman joins the company with more than 30 years of experience in the gaming industry. He is a gaming lawyer and the co-founder of FairP2P, a self-regulatory organization focused on monetized competitive peer-to-peer skill-based gameplay; and Esports Capital Corp., a bespoke esports advisory firm.
“We are excited to have Alex join the senior leadership team. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and fresh perspective as we move the company forward. We welcome Alex to the company,” said Jan Jones Blackhurst, Chair of the Board of Directors.
Jan Jones Blackhurst
The entities Igelman helped found “have been leaders in the respective sectors,” according to EEG. During his career, Igelman worked across the gambling and gaming industry in a variety of senior leadership positions. And aside from his involvement in the aforementioned firms, Igelman also co-founded the Spectrum Esports Advisors strategic alliance with Spectrum Gaming, in addition to the Millennial Esports Corp. integrated mobile gaming publisher.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to join EEG at this important time in its journey and to work alongside someone as experienced and respected as the new Chair, Jan Jones Blackhurst. The company is making significant strides to refine its focus on creating a valuable esports brand and is initially looking inward at some of its key assets to kickstart this process,” said Igelman.
“The company also owns certain valuable assets and relationships in the esports sector and there is a substantial growing addressable domestic esports betting market for the company to take a leadership position in,” the new CEO added. “The company will continue to structure its operations and financial position to maximize value for shareholders.”
In connection with the appointment, EEG entered into an employment agreement that provides for the grant of common stock and stock options to Igelman. Pursuant to the terms of the deal, the firm will grant the new Chief Executive an award of 2,500,000 shares of common stock and an award of 2,500,000 time-based stock options.
Ingelman’s appointment comes at a time of change and trouble for Esports Entertainment Group. Grant Johnson’s departure last month at the request of the EEG board followed a tough few years for the esports betting firm, marked by brand closures, a debt default and large operating losses.
Grant Johnson, former EEG CEO
The adverse situation led the business to be on the verge of Nasdaq delisting, which the company announced it managed to narrowly escape in December, under the condition it drastically increase its share price by February.
The company has now set out plans to restructure. The firm is considering exiting the iGaming vertical altogether and has initiated a process to evaluate strategic options, including a sale of iGaming assets due to “increasing regulatory burdens and competition.”
The new CEO will be tasked with assessing the value of the online gaming assets and determining the next steps, EEG said in December. The company recently sold its online casino business in Spain, and closed the Argyll iGaming operations in the United Kingdom and Ireland on December 7 due to high costs to operate and an inability to generate profits.