The Skillz Team
Skillz is the leading mobile games platform that connects players in fair, fun, and meaningful competition. The Skillz platform helps developers build multi-million dollar franchises by enabling social competition in their games. Leveraging its patented technology, Skillz hosts billions of casual esports tournaments for millions of mobile players worldwide, and distributes millions in prizes each month. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading venture capitalists, media companies, and professional sports leagues and franchises. Skillz has earned recognition as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, CNBC’s Disruptor 50, Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups, and the #1 fastest-growing company in America on the Inc. 5000.
CEO and Founder
Andrew Paradise is the CEO and Founder of Skillz (NYSE: SKLZ), the leading mobile games platform for fair, fun, and meaningful competition, and the first publicly-traded mobile esports platform in the world. A pioneer of the idea of “esports for everyone,” under Paradise’s leadership Skillz has become an industry leader in mobile gaming, with a current market cap of $3.5 billion.
Paradise has been the founding inventor behind companies in technology sectors ranging from eCommerce to image recognition to HR technology. His passion for innovation and tech started early: at the age of seven he learned to program by hacking a video game. He began his professional career in private equity and venture capital, but in 2008 pivoted into tech when he founded his first business, Double Picture, an advertising technology firm. He sold the company to MPA, Inc. in 2010.
In 2010, Paradise founded AisleBuyer, best known for pioneering mobile self-checkout prior to its sale to Intuit in 2012. That same year, along with his fellow AisleBuyer executive Casey Chafkin, he founded Skillz, with a mission to democratize the emerging world of mobile gaming by creating the competition layer of the Internet. The Skillz platform helps developers build multi-million dollar franchises by enabling social competition in their games. Leveraging its patented technology, Skillz hosts billions of tournaments for millions of mobile players worldwide, and distributes millions in prizes each month.
Paradise earned his B.A. in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor’s of Commerce in Economics from the University of Auckland. A sought-after thought leader, he has been featured in such outlets as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Bloomberg, Fast Company, and CNBC. In 2018, he was named to the San Francisco Business Times’ “40 Under 40 Class.” He has also spoken at preeminent conferences including SXSW, CES, and GDC.
Chief Revenue Officer
Casey Chafkin is the Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder of Skillz (NYSE: SKLZ), the first publicly-traded mobile esports platform in the world. In his role, Chafkin oversees the financial operations of the company, spanning investor relations, business development, marketing, market research, user acquisition, and advertising.
He began his career as a market analyst and brand strategist for CarMax before joining AisleBuyer in 2010, where he served as Vice President of Business Development prior to the company’s sale to Intuit in 2012. At AisleBuyer he met Andrew Paradise, and in 2012 the two founded Skillz, the mobile gaming platform that helps developers build multi-million dollar franchises by enabling social competition in their games.
Chafkin earned his BS in Economics at Duke University and an MBA from Harvard University. A well-respected authority on mobile payments and performance marketing, Chafkin has been featured in outlets such as CNBC, VentureBeat, and the Silicon Valley Business Journal and is a sought-after panelist and commentator at global tech conferences.
Chief Financial Officer
As the Chief Financial Officer at Skillz, Ian Lee is responsible for the oversight of all of the company’s finance functions, including accounting, investor relations, FP&A, tax, corporate development, and strategy.
Prior to joining Skillz in 2021, Lee served as Head of Investor Relations at Airbnb, where he was a key member of the company’s IPO preparation team, culminating in Airbnb’s successful $4 billion offering in December 2020. Prior to joining Airbnb in 2019, he led investor relations as a senior finance executive at several world-class technology firms, including Atlassian and Trulia, both of which he helped take public. He also served in IR leadership roles at Hewlett-Packard and Omnicom Group.
Lee holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Communications Studies from the Auckland University of Technology.
Chief Product Officer
Vatsal Bhardwaj is the Chief Product Officer (CPO) at Skillz. In this role, Bhardwaj leads the product and technology teams, and is responsible for driving the creation of new services and products from concept, development, and go-to-market, as well as building and operationalizing the company’s product roadmap to enable developers to build and launch successful games on the platform.
Prior to joining Skillz in 2021, Bhardwaj served as the General Manager/Head of Game Tech at Amazon Web Services (AWS). In this role, he led AWS's initiatives in game technologies, including the Open 3D Engine initiative (real-time 3D game engine), Gamelift (multiplayer), GameSparks (personalization/optimization and tuning), large scale simulations and multiple new services to create and operate massive scale games and simulations. Before AWS, Bhardwaj was an executive at Facebook, where his teams shipped Oculus Rift, Gear VR, and launched content discovery and developer services products. Before that, he served as a general manager leading product/engineering teams in online dating and video games.
Bhardwaj holds an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University. He spent the early part of his career in several engineering and product roles at Microsoft, building operating systems and cloud services.
Vice President of Legal
Charlotte Edelman is the Vice President of Legal at Skillz, where she acts as chief counsel, overseeing all legal and regulatory matters affecting the company. She was also a key leader as Skillz went public in 2020.
An experienced middle-market dealmaker, Edelman has deep experience counseling companies from start-up to exit, investors, and funds. Over the course of her career, Edelman has developed broad transactional experience, advising leading companies on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and private equity investments, and joint ventures across a range of industries, including technology, healthcare, telecommunications, retail, and consumer products.
Prior to joining Skillz in 2020, Edelman served as a member of the New York law firm Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. for more than 20 years. She met Skillz’s founders, CEO Andrew Paradise and CRO Casey Chafkin, when she represented them in the sale of their prior company, AisleBuyer, to Intuit in 2012.
Edelman earned her Juris Doctor from the Boston University School of Law, and has a Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College.
Vice President of Finance
As the Vice President of Finance at Skillz, Stefan Gerhard oversees all Corporate Finance, IR, and FP&A, developing and executing financial strategies that support the company’s long-term financial objectives.
Prior to joining Skillz in 2018, Gerhard served for more than five years as a Managing Director at Vaquero Capital, where he helped launch a successful startup boutique technology bank and closed a wide range of growth and liquidity transactions, including equity capital raises, debt capital raises, and strategic exits.
Previously, he worked as Executive Director at Nomura Securities, where he helped build the North America IB Division after the acquisition of Lehman International, and as Managing Member at Costanoa Capital Management, where he launched a proprietary trading and research product. Gerhard’s deep experience in finance also includes various financial management roles at Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Deutsche Bank.
Gerhard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Active in charitable causes, he currently serves as Treasurer for the Board of Directors of ACT for Mental Health, a San Jose, California-based nonprofit dedicated to mental and emotional wellness, as well as the Palo Alto Philharmonic Association.
Head of People
Doris Fritz-Bianchi currently serves as Skillz’s Head of People. In this role she is responsible for defining and executing systematic talent strategies to enable business growth, including employee engagement and retention; leadership and people development; talent and performance management; total rewards; diversity & inclusion; and culture and employee experience.
Before joining Skillz in 2021, Fritz-Bianchi served as Global Head of People at StubHub, where she joined in 2017. Previously in her career, she served in various human resources director and management roles at a variety of companies, including ebay, Morgan Stanley, MetLife, and UBS/PaineWebber.
Fritz-Bianchi earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Marketing from the State University of New York, Geneseo.
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