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Genius Sports has recruited former MGM CFO Ken Kay and co-chief investment officer of Caledonia Investments Michael Messara to its board of directors.

Who is Ken Kay?

Kenneth J. “Ken” Kay will join the sports data supplier’s board as an independent director, chair of the audit committee (succeeding Harry You), and a member of the nominating and corporate governance committee.

Genius said Kay’s skills are complementary to the collective capabilities of its board, given his combined financial and operational expertise.

Kay has spent more than 30 years as CFO at several global and Fortune 500 companies, including Dole Food Company, real estate specialist CB Richard Ellis Group, Las Vegas Sands Corporation and most recently, MGM Holdings.

Kay also brings further experience through his tenure on the board of Summit Hotel Properties, where he also sits on the audit committee and acts as chair of the compensation committee.

“Ken possesses a rare blend of financial acuity and operational expertise drawn from overseeing business functions including IT, HR, and procurement, that give him a broad-based business perspective and proficiency,” Genius Sports said.

Genius Sports chairman David Levy added: “We are delighted to have Ken join the board and take the lead as our new audit chair.

“Ken’s diverse expertise and depth of knowledge will undoubtedly serve the company extremely well as we continue to develop products and services that sit at the centre of the sports data ecosystem.”

Commenting on his own appointment, Kay said: “This is an exhilarating time to join Genius Sports as it continues to transform the way the world experiences sport. 

“I look forward to working closely with the board as the company enters the next phase of its journey as a global leader in sports data and technology.”

Who is Michael Messara?

Michael Messara, meanwhile, has joined the Genius board as an independent observer.

Messara is the co-chief investment officer at Caledonia Investments, a long-term shareholder in Genius Sports and one of its largest with 18.6 million shares, representing some 9% of the total business.

Messara began his career in equity research as an analyst at financial services firm UBS in Sydney, before joining Caledonia in 2006.

Caledonia is a global hedge fund founded in 1992, with approximately $6bn in assets under management across several industries.

Messara sits on Caledonia’s board of directors and is also a non-executive director of Arrowfield Pastoral Company.

Commenting on Messara’s appointment, Genius chairman Levy said: “We are pleased to welcome Michael as an independent observer to our board, demonstrating Caledonia’s continued support and commitment to Genius, as it has from our original listing.”

Messara added: “Since Caledonia first invested in Genius Sports, we have shared a strong commitment to continue building on Genius’s many successes and increasing shareholder value. 

“With this new appointment, we look forward to deepening our relationship with the board, [CEO] Mark [Locke] and the whole Genius Sports team.”

Genius is scheduled to report its Q4 2022 financial results on 10 March 2023.

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