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Catena Media has recruited Kindred Group veteran Manuel Stan as its new chief executive following the resignation of former CEO Michael Daly.  

Catena’s board of directors selected Stan to lead the company’s North American and global operations.

The executive will take over from VP of corporate strategy Pierre Cadena, who was appointed on an interim basis following Daly’s departure.

Stan will lead the business from Las Vegas, where he is based, from 1 July 2024.

A Kindred veteran

Stan spent 16 years at Kindred Group in a variety of primarily marketing roles, rising to SVP & general manager North America in May 2018.

In those positions, Stan was heavily involved in shaping the operator’s affiliate marketing programme.

Catena also touted Stan’s experience in customer marketing, business development, financial planning and analysis and corporate governance.

In November 2023, Kindred announced it would be closing its North American operations on the back of a wider strategic review that eventually saw the wider business sold to French lottery giant FDJ.

The Unibet operator expects the exit process to have completed by Q2 2024.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to drive Catena Media forward on the next stage of its journey as the group takes on new challenges while further advancing its presence in North America,” said Stan.

“This is a strong business with talented employees and I look forward to working with the teams to capitalise fully on the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Catena Media chair Göran Blomberg added: “Manuel was the outstanding candidate for this position among the names considered and we are extremely pleased that he is joining us.

“He is a leader with proven leadership skills and wide-ranging experience within our industry.

“His close knowledge of the North American market and of both the operator and affiliate sides of the business will be a significant asset for Catena Media and our North America-focused organisation as we begin this new chapter for the group.”

Can Stan turn the ship around?

Stan’s appointment follows the exit of Daly, who resigned last month following a period of poor financial performance.

Catena reported a 41% decline in revenue to €14.5m in its Q4 2023 financial report, as well as an 88% drop in adjusted EBITDA.

Daly had blamed the drop on “market headwinds”, including stiff competition from rivals and lower cost-per-acquisition rates paid by operators.

To restore revenue, the former CEO pointed to the company’s new investments in AI as a key driver of future growth. During Daly’s tenure, Catena’s share price dropped by over 80%.

Daly also oversaw a strategic review process that culminated in the company selling its flagship AskGamblers brand to competitor GiG for €45m.

The question remains whether Stan’s appointment will enable the business to return to growth amid a shifting US online gaming landscape.

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