Home > People > People moves > Esports Entertainment names Villani as permanent CFO

Esports Entertainment names Villani as permanent CFO

| By Robert Fletcher
Esports Entertainment Group has announced the appointment of Michael Villani as chief financial officer on a permanent basis.

Villani has been serving as interim CFO at Esports Entertainment since January when Damian Matthews stood down. He is being promoted to the new role after over two and a half years as the group’s financial controller.

Prior to joining the group, he spent nine years with KPMG. Here, he worked as both director and manager for accounting advisory services.

Villani has also had spells with Tiresias Capital, Harman International and AIG Financial Products Corp.

“We have witnessed Michael’s leadership and operational and financial skills first hand as we have restructured the company over the past several months,” Esports Entertainment CEO Alex Igelman said. 

“He has been improving our balance sheet, divesting, or closing non-core business lines to streamline operations, and increasing operational efficiencies across the company. 

“Michael is a valued member of our leadership team. We look forward to continuing to work with him as we execute on our long-term strategy with a focus on growing long-term shareholder value.”

The appointment comes after Matthews returned in June, resuming his previous role as COO. He remained as a member of the board, a position he has held since June 2020, despite exiting the business earlier in the year.

B2C expansion and divestment plans at Esports Entertainment

Back in April, CEO Igelman shared the company’s plans for B2C expansion and outlined its divestment efforts.

The group has been in trouble since May 2022, admitting “doubt” over whether it could stay in business for another year. In November, the SportNation and RedZone brands ceased trading in the UK, while former CEO Grant Johnson exited after rumours swirled over its future.

Igelman carried out a company review and coordinated this with an action plan after being appointed in January. He said the group will now focus on expanding its B2C offerings, specifically through its Idefix platform. 

He also noted multiple divestment efforts, many of which have taken place this year. Igelman said that these sales took place to “streamline” its operations, including the sale of Bethard in February.

Esports Entertainment has also reduced its employee headcount by more than 37% this year. Staff headcount is now down from 158 to 99.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter