EXCEL Esports announced Thursday that Tim Reichert has been promoted to the role of CEO, replacing Wouter Sleijffers, who will take on a strategic advisor role to the board. The esports organization also announced that Rosenbelle Ganan has been promoted to the leadership role of director of operations & legal affairs—she has served as head of legal for more than two years at the company.
In a message on social media Thursday, Reichert acknowledged the tough environment the esports industry is facing (and will face this year) but believes he and his team can weather the storm:
“I know that the road ahead will not be easy given the challenges facing our industry but I am confident that with our team’s hard work, dedication, and different thinking, we will identify the huge opportunities and come out even stronger.”
Reichert left his job as managing director of FC Schalke 04 Esports GmbH (a role in which he stayed for more than three years) after the German Bundesliga football club decided to sell its League of Legends European Championship (LEC) franchise slot to Team BDS for $31.5M USD in late-August, 2021.
Shortly thereafter he joined EXCEL as esports director, and eight months later was promoted to chief operating officer. Prior to the establishment of FC Schalke 04 Esports GmbH in 2018, Reichert spent more than two years leading esports efforts at the football club itself as head of esports and chief gaming officer. Reichert’s love affair with esports is long and storied, but he may be best known for co-founding (alongside his brothers Ralf and Benjamin) one of the oldest and most iconic esports organizations in the world in 1997: SK Gaming. He also spent more than four years as a professional football player at German football club Rot-Weiß Oberhausen (his brother Benjamin also played for the club).
It is unclear where outgoing CEO Sleijffers is headed next (and he has not spoken about his plans publically as of this writing). Sleijffers spent more than three years leading the London-based esports organization as CEO. Prior to that, he served as CEO of London-based esports organization Fnatic for more than four years as CEO. During his career he has worked in various executive roles at digital research data firm Research Now, online payment systems provider Skrill, London-based Everest Gaming, global car leasing company LeasePlan, online market research MetrixLab, and chip manufacturing equipment company ASML.
Finally, Ganan will take on EXCEL’s operational responsibilities across London and Germany in her new role, according to a release. Ganan began her career in esports at Fnatic where she spent more than four years in various leadership roles including finance director and head of legal.