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Nigel Eccles. Photo: Brendan Moran / Getty

FanDuel co-founder Nigel Eccles has stepped down as the fantasy sports company's chairman and CEO, in order to launch an e-sports startup.

Backstory: Eccles actually began planning the e-sports venture when FanDuel was in the midst of merging with DraftKings, after which he would have become chairman of the combined entity (with DraftKings boss Jason Robins serving as CEO). But then federal regulators successfully blocked the merger, leaving Eccles in a tricky position.

So tricky, in fact, that he misled his own internal PR rep about the e-sports effort when Axios inquired last month. He also didn't fully inform his full board, which struck the departure agreement late last week.

  • Next: FanDuel's new CEO is Matt King, a former FanDuel CFO who previously was with FanDuel backer KKR. The new chairman is Carl Vogel (ex-Dish Networks exec) while David Nathanson (ex-21st Century Fox) also joins the board as an independent director.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
10 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

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