Savvy Gaming Group announces three senior hires

Saudi Arabian esports and gaming company Savvy Gaming Group (SGG) has announced the appointment of three new executive personnel, Kadri Harma, Yannick Theler and Jerry Gamez.

The new hires will lead SGG’s operating companies. Kadri Harma is appointed as the new CEO of Savvy’s ecosystem company, Yannick Theler will lead Savvy’s game studios, and Jerry Gamez will take over as the CEO of Savvy’s infrastructure company.

Savvy Gaming Group
Image credit: Savvy Gaming Group

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Savvy Gaming Group is best known for its controversial acquisition of both ESL Gaming and FACEIT early in 2022 for a combined $1.5bn (~£1.1bn). The company has quickly become one of the largest holding companies in the esports industry.

SGG is comprised of five operating companies: ESL FACEIT Group, the Savvy Games Fund, its game studio, infrastructure, and ecosystem companies. The names of its game studio, infrastructure and ecosystem companies have not been revealed.

Kadri Harma, the new CEO of the SGG ecosystem company, joins after working as an entrepreneur and investor for 20 years in Europe, Asia and the United States. According to SGG, Harma will provide infrastructure, network, capital and advice for promising gaming startup companies.

Yannick Theler, CEO of Savvy’s games studios company, last worked at Ubisoft where he spent 19 years. Theler was key in establishing the Ubisoft studio in Abu Dhabi, and worked at a number of leadership positions in the company. He will be tasked with leading Savvy’s games studios in the future.

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Lastly, Jerry Gamez, formerly of Walmart and Restaurant Brands International, will head the infrastructure division of Savvy Gaming Group. Gamez will be tasked with leading the infrastructure efforts of SGG by focusing on “leading the development and investments in an extensive global footprint of gaming venues”.

Brian Ward, Savvy Gaming Group CEO, said: “We must bring the best minds to join us, and I am thrilled to be welcoming such accomplished executives to our leadership team. With their wealth of experience and their complementary companies, we will drive long-term growth and development of esports and the wider games industry worldwide.”

Esports Insider says: The three major hires will be extremely important in Savvy Gaming Group’s efforts to scale its five core pillars, considering that all of the new team members come from experienced backgrounds. With lots of details about SSG still up in the air — including even the names of three of its core pillars — it will be interesting to see where SSG goes from hewre.

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