A trailblazer in the gaming industry is passing the torch.
Delane Parnell, the founder of PlayVS, has stepped down as his company’s CEO, according to a press release.
“I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved at PlayVS in only a few years,” Parnell shared in a press 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.”
Although Parnell is no longer the CEO and is focusing on a new project, he will serve on PlayVS’ board of directors and as a senior advisor until a permanent successor is appointed, the press release details. As the search — which began in January — continues, Joe Gibson will run the company as the interim CEO and work closely with Parnell.
Since its inception in 2018, Parnell transformed PlayVS into one of the leading esports companies, which resulted in nearly a quarter of U.S. high schools joining in on the movement with students not only winning state championships but also earning collegiate esports scholarships. Additionally, the Black-owned esports platform has raised $106.2 million in total funding to date, per Crunchbase.
“While we are sad to see Delane step down, we’re proud of the cultural impact he’s made in the lives of millions of high school students’ lives, and we’re confident that he’s paved the way for PlayVS’ continual growth,” said Michael Jones, PlayVS Board Member and Partner at Science Ventures. “Delane’s hard work and commitment have been integral to the company’s achievements thus far, and we appreciate his support through this transition ensuring PlayVS’ continued success.”