Matthews will replace Dan Marks as CFO and assume his new position with effect from 2 April.
The appointment comes after Esports Entertainment Group last month posted a net loss of $35.0m for the first half of its 2022 financial year as a sharp increase in operating costs offset a 1,088.4% rise in revenue driven by acquisitions.
Alongside those results, the business revealed that it had only $1m left on its balance sheet and had been in violation of its covenants with some notesholders, resulting in these notes being modified to ensure the operator could continue to pay.
Last month, Esports Entertainment Group said its igaming division had rebounded from a difficult end to 2021 with a much stronger start to 2022, including seven consecutive weeks of revenue exceeding $1m.
He moves into the new role having most recently served as group chief operating officer at Quattro Real Estate in New Zealand, prior to which he spent over five-and-a-half years as chief financial officer for the Qatar and Abu Dhabi Investment Company.
Matthews also spent time as director of NZ Pacific Investments, his own consultancy, from 2009 to 2012, and held a number of roles at ABN Amro, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse First Boston and KPMG between 1994 and 2009.
He has been a director at Esports Entertainment Group since June 2020.
“The company has grown rapidly and has immense ambition in the exciting industry of esports; 2022 will be a pivotal and exciting time as we aim to continue to grab market share and develop and enhance our products to drive strong unit economics,” Matthews said.
“I believe the company’s product offerings are at the early stages of their growth cycles and well-positioned to capitalise on a sizable market opportunity and evolving consumer behaviours.
“I look forward to helping Esports Entertainment Group in its efforts to further expand its market share in the coming year.”
Esports Entertainment Group chief executive Grant Johnson added: “Damian brings more than 25 years of global experience, working across banking, private equity and real estate.
“Damian has been a valuable part of the company’s board since 2020 and we’re confident his expertise and leadership will make him a critical partner as we execute on our strategic and financial plan for this year and beyond.”
In January, Esports Entertainment Group promoted Stuart Tilly from chief legal officer to the new role of chief operating officer.