Kambi’s board of directors has appointed co-founder Anders Ström as chairman of the board.

Ström will replace long-serving Kambi chair Lars Stugemo, who has stood down after nearly 10 years in the role.

Ström will take over immediately before being proposed as the new chair by the nomination committee at Kambi’s 2024 annual general meeting (AGM).

Stugemo will exit the board, but will continue to serve as a member of the nomination committee as nominated by Kambi’s largest shareholder, Veralda Investment, which is Ström’s investment fund.

Ström originally founded Swedish operator Kindred Group (Unibet) in 1997 and later co-founded sportsbook supplier Kambi alongside current CEO Kristian Nylén.

Ström has been a Kambi board member since its formation. Kambi has an agreement in place to power Kindred Group’s sports betting operation until at least 2026.

Ström said he was honoured to have been asked by the board to return as chair.

“I look forward to leading the board of a company which is showing real commercial momentum through recent partner signings and redefining what is possible in sports betting through significant technological breakthroughs including AI-powered trading,” he added.

“These achievements not only strengthen our position but also boost morale and drive within the company, paving the way for future successes and growth.”

As a current member of the nomination committee and board of directors, Ström did not participate in the deliberations or decision regarding his nomination or appointment.

Paying tribute to Stugemo, Ström said: “Lars has made many important contributions to Kambi’s development to becoming the world’s leading sportsbook provider and, as both a founder and shareholder, I am very grateful for the journey we have undertaken together and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Stugemo declined to stand for re-election next year after 14 years with Kambi, including almost a decade as chair, during a journey he described as “remarkable”.

“It became clear that I should, if possible, promptly pass the leadership to someone else,” said Stugemo.

“In this case, both I and Kambi are fortunate that Kambi’s co-founder Anders Ström is also a member of the board and is ready to immediately take over as chair.

“It has been an immense privilege and joy to work closely and intensively with Kambi, alongside an inspiring entrepreneur like Anders,” he added.

Kindred Group has confirmed that chief marketing officer (CMO) Elen Barber and chief commercial officer (CCO) Anne-Jaap Snijders are set to leave the business this autumn.

The news follows on from the resignation of long-serving CEO Henrik Tjärnström, which was announced with immediate effect last week. 

CFO Johan Wilsby, who announced his resignation a matter of days before Tjärnström, was the first domino to fall, but iGaming NEXT understands he is also set to stay on in his role until autumn.

With four resignations in such quick succession, just five members of Kindred’s previously nine-strong executive team are set to remain with the business.

Those members include new CEO Nils Andén, who was promoted to the top job after serving as CCO for region two (Snijders is CCO for region one).

Others set to remain in the firm’s C-suite include CPO Erik Bäcklund, chief HR officer Rachel Randle-Williams, chief legal and compliance officer Ewout Keuleers, and CTO Sören Thörnlund.

“It’s now the right time for me to move on to fresh opportunities ahead.”

– Outgoing Kindred CMO Elen Barber

With reference to the resignations of both Barber and Snijders, Kindred suggested the duo had decided to stand down following the completion of a review of the company’s commercial and marketing operations, which was initiated in H2 2022 and led by the two executives alongside Andén.

Kindred insisted the decisions were not related to the resignations of CEO Tjärnström or CFO Wilsby, but investors will continue to question the timing with Kindred currently engaged in a strategic review.

Commenting on her decision, outgoing CMO Barber said: ‘I’m proud to have played my part in Kindred’s success over the past 13 years. 

“Our fantastic global marketing team has built a solid foundation upon which Kindred can continue to grow in competitive and exciting markets. It’s now the right time for me to move on to fresh opportunities ahead.”

“I had a great time at Kindred. It has been a fantastic journey working out of the Sydney, Malta and Amsterdam office with extremely talented colleagues.”

– Outgoing Kindred CCO Anne-Jaap Snijders

Outgoing CCO Snijders added: “I had a great time at Kindred. It has been a fantastic journey working out of the Sydney, Malta and Amsterdam office with extremely talented colleagues. 

“The pinnacle was to receive the Dutch licence and building up market leadership with the local teams.”

In an interview published over the weekend, Kindred founder and former chairman Anders Ström offered his two cents on the latest developments taking place within the business.

He suggested that Tjärnström’s resignation was a foregone conclusion, given that “what the board wants to do and what Henrik wants to do are not in agreement with each other.”

That comment was made in reference to the strategic review underway at the business, driven by activist investor and largest shareholder Corvex Management.

The review will see Kindred consider options for a sale of the business.

“The option to sell does not seem to have gone down well with Henrik Tjärnström and so he has to drop out,” Ström told Swedish financial newspaper Dagens industri (DI).