FanDuel’s co-founder leaves to create an eSports company

FanDuel co-creator Nigel Eccles has been toying with startup ideas ever since his company proposed a merger with DraftKings, and he's taking action now that the merger has fallen apart. Eccles has stepped down from his CEO and chairman positions to h…
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As BlackBerry phones left the market, the company fell out of sight. However, behind the scenes it has been moving into industries like automotive. Also, it remains the leading vendor providing mobile security to our politicians, military personnel and major corporations. As we move into an era when our smartphones become our key to everything, and when the machines around us are highly connected, mobile, and increasingly have our lives in their hands, the security of these things has become a critical weakness.
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FanDuel CEO and co-founder Nigel Eccles is leaving to start an eSports company

FanDuel’s board is getting an overhaul, too.

FanDuel CEO and co-founder Nigel Eccles is leaving the company and stepping down from its board, where he was chairman.

Eccles, who’s been CEO since the company’s founding in 2009, announced internally that he is leaving to start an eSports company. Monday is his last day.

Eccles had been kicking around new startup ideas ever since FanDuel and DraftKings, rival fantasy sports sites, agreed to a merger late last year. Eccles was set to be the chairman of the new joint company but he was not going to be CEO. Hence the interest in starting something new.

That deal fell through in July after the government threatened to block it to prevent the two companies from forming a monopoly. While both companies are relatively small, they both offer daily fantasy sports competitions, which are a somewhat niche portion of the fantasy sports world. The Federal Trade Commission argued that “the combined firm would control more than 90 percent of the U.S. market.”

That meant that Eccles, who had been planning something new, was suddenly back in charge of FanDuel for the long haul. That obviously is no longer the case.

Eccles replacement as CEO is Matt King, who served as FanDuel’s CFO for three years ending in 2016. He then left and spent a year at insurance broker Cottingham & Butler before returning to FanDuel to become its CEO. King, who has also spent more than a decade at investment firm KKR, is taking a board seat.

FanDuel is adding two more people to its board. Carl Vogel, former vice-chairman and president of Dish Network, is joining FanDuel’s board as chairman. David Nathanson, a former Fox Sports executive who left the company this fall, is also joining the board.

Eccles isn’t say much about his new venture just yet, except that it’s in the competitive video gaming industry know as eSports and it’s very early. “Just a thought in my head,” he said in an interview. Eccles says he’s excited about getting into an industry that’s just taking off — eSports is much less established than the traditional sports world he’s been focused on with fantasy sports.

“Traditional sports are in harvest mode,” he said in an interview with Recode. “ESports are in growth mode.”


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Apple’s VP of Diversity Leaves Company After Just 6 Months

After just six-months serving as Apple’s first-ever Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Denise Young-Smith announced that she will be leaving the company at the end of this year, according to a recent TechCrunch report.

Prior to being appointed VP of Diversity and Inclusion by Apple CEO, Tim Cook, Young-Smith had been serving as the tech-giant’s head of worldwide human resources for three-years.

Taking Young-Smith’s place, Apple announced on Friday, will be Christie Smith — a 17-year veteran consultant with tax and financial advisory firm, Deloitte — who in her previous role “focused on talent management, organizational design, inclusion, diversity and people solutions,” according to the report. Smith will report to Apple’s Vice President for People, Deidre O’Brien.

“We deeply believe that diversity drives innovation,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch, adding that “We’re thrilled to welcome an accomplished leader like Christie Smith to help us continue the progress we’ve made toward a more diverse workplace.”

Interestingly, Young-Smith’s announcement that she’ll be leaving Apple comes less than a few weeks after the Cornell Chronicle published a blog post indicating she would be joining the prestigious University as an ‘executive in residence’ effective January, 2018; where she will reportedly work with students to “build an early career-stage awareness of inclusive leadership and diverse talent.”

It would appear that Young-Smith is departing Apple on amicable terms, especially since she had been discussing “the next phase of her career and life” with Tim Cook throughout last year, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Meanwhile, her most significant contribution to the company and its ongoing efforts to foster diversity, would be her first and last diversity report, which Apple published back in July of this year. According to the report, of the iPhone-maker’s estimated 115,000 full-time employees, 32 percent are female and 68 percent are male — while the company’s U.S. employees are 54 percent white (down two points from 2016), 13 percent Hispanic (up one point), nine percent black (no change), 21 percent Asian (up two points), three percent multiracial (up one point) and one percent other (no change).

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Well, not a hyperloop exactly. First of all, there’s no tube involved, so the idea of traveling through a near-vacuum state at close to supersonic speeds has been replaced with a more modest proposal of whisking along a magnetized track that parallels preexisting freeways at 200 mph. The system could support your own personal vehicle, as well as cargo sleds and its own specially designed vehicles that could also travel on normal roads. It’s…

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