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FanDuel CEO, co-founder Eccles leaves fantasy sports site

Shake-up comes five months after failed merger with rival DraftKings.

Speakers At The 2015 Web Summit

Nigel Eccles is leaving FanDuel, the company he co-founded in 2009.

Clodagh Kilcoyne / Getty Images

FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles is leaving the daily fantasy sports site he co-founded in 2009, just months after the site failed to merge with rival DraftKings.

Eccles will be replaced at the second-largest daily fantasy sports site by Matt King, FanDuel's chief financial officer from 2014 to 2016, effective immediately, the company said Monday. Eccles is also leaving the company's board, where he had served as chairman.

The shake-up comes five months after FanDuel and DraftKings called off a much-discussed merger amid intense scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission. The two companies, which control over 90 percent of the US market, agreed to join forces in November 2016.

The daily fantasy sports industry has experienced huge growth in recent years, with players spending an estimated $3.26 billion in 2016, up about 4 percent from a year earlier, according to an annual market study by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. But that rapid growth has led to questions about how such contests, which offer cash prizes to contestants who compete in abbreviated daily versions of the traditional season-long fantasy sports leagues, might be violating state gambling laws.

As a result, DraftKings has agreed to stop accepting paid entries in nine states, while FanDuel has closed up shop in 10 states.

"Matt is the leader to capitalize on the momentum in the sports technology space to take FanDuel to the next level," Eccles said in a statement.

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