Black CEO quits $400 million gaming company he founded to build new business

Abu Mubarik May 04, 2023
Delane Parnell. Photo credit: CNBC.

Delane Parnell is the founder of PlayVS, a leading amateur esports platform in North America. After six trailblazing years in the Gaming Industry, he is stepping down as the Chief Executive Officer and will be replaced by Joe Gibson.

However, he will remain on the board of directors as a senior advisor during the interim period and after a new CEO is appointed.

“I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved at PlayVS in only a few years,” Parnell noted in a statement. “Leading such a talented team has been an honor, and developing an innovative product that has created so many opportunities for an underserved audience has been a dream come true. 

“It has been humbling to serve as a role model for Black tech founders in gaming, and I hope that my example inspires others to break down barriers in the industry. I’m excited to see PlayVS continue to grow and make a positive impact on the world of gaming and education.”

Parnell initiated a conversation with the board in 2022 about his exit from the company to focus on a new project. They both agreed to initiate the process for his replacement early this year.

He started PlayVS in 2018 to bring amateur esports programs to students across America and Canada. The platform also provided opportunities to college students and as a career. 

The firm has grown to become the official “high school esports partner to the NFHS Network, the Special Olympics, and 36 state and regional organizations in the U.S. and Canada to offer officially sanctioned high school esports leagues.”

Parnell is credited with revolutionizing high school esports, making it a favorite scholastic athletics department. His vision influenced nearly a quarter of US high schools to join PlayVS and incorporate esports into their after-school activities.

These schools have gone on to win sanctioned state championships and even got collegiate esports scholarships.

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: September 25, 2023


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