Philly Tech People News 10/18: Westphal stepping down as CEO of Berywn-based Vertex

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Family firm CEO steps down, saying he's a creator, not a builder
(Philadelphia Inquirer)
Jeff Westphal said he would step down as CEO of the global tax software firm his family founded in favor of the company's executive vice president, David DeStefano. Vertex is probably the most powerful enterprise software + data firm based in the Philadelphia area that most people have never heard of.

Lars Dalgaard: Build Trust by Daring to Show That You’re Human (New York Times)
Dalgaard built and ran SuccessFactors before and after its acquisition by SAP.

Comcast’s Tony Werner Elected Chairman of SCTE Board (Multichannel News)

SCTE Staffs Up(Multichannel News)

The SCTE is based in Exton.

Marty Roberts Leaves thePlatform (Multichannel News)

PJM's CEO Transition Complete; Andrew Ott Assumes Duties Of President And CEO (PR Newswire)

Archer CEO Bryan Dori Announces Addition of CFO
–Ted Pastva, Jr. Joins Archer from GrubHub
(Business Wire)


Sunday Morning Tech Fix 10/18/2015: Latest on FanDuel/DraftKings; Dorsey's two companies: Square files S-1 while Twitter gets boost from Ballmer

Tom Paine

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(Where I somehow try to answer questions I haven't been able to answer the rest of the week, at a time when I'm least capable of doing so. And sometimes don't finish on time.)

FanDuel and DraftKings, the twin purveyors of fantasy sports gambling (sorry, I know I shouldn't use that word, since it really doesn't apply) that I wrote about last week, have been getting plenty of heat since allegations came out that that a DraftKings employeee won a good deal of money using what was in effect inside information in a FanDuel competition. Both companies were ordered to stop operating in Nevada, and are likely to face increased scrutiny elsewhere.

Nevada officials cited a Reddit Q&A chat involving three DraftKings execs, quoting one of them as comparing his site to a casino and describing the concept as a mashup between poker and fantasy sports. But both DraftKings and FanDuel have insisted their sites aren't gambling and are legal under a 2006 federal law that exempted fantasy sports from an online gambling prohibition.

Comcast Ventures and, separately, NBC Sports are among the numerous investors in FanDuel.

Square, Jack Dorsey's other company (on Tuesdays and Thursdays?) filed an S-1 for an IPO, as expected. Josh Kopelman, after first offering than passing on Twitter when the terms went up on a seed stage, swore he'd never miss out on another Dorsey-led venture, so he got right in on Squere, though FRC's stake is less than 5% at this point (because it wasn't named in the filing). The jury on Square and its attractiveness as a public offering in trying to at least match its private company valuation of $6 billion in its last funding round, is still out. The company has been a cash eater to build, and though it has a sweet spot in the market it isn't quite the niche that it was originally intended for. So we will see.

Speaking of Dorsey-led ventures, the other one, Twitter, got a big boost from that famed market mover Steve Ballmer (just think of what he did for the Clippers) when he announced on Friday he had accumulated a 4% stake in the social media company over the past few months. Twitter rose 4.9% on Friday.

Critics of Comcast were quick to take note when the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga began offering 10Gbps symmetrical Internet service for $299 per month. But Chattanooga's system has depended heavily on municipal bond salss and Federal subsidies, they are not so quick to note.

And some people look at local tech incubators as a leading indicator of the area tech industry's strength at a given point in time. And there were those who thought a shake out was inevitable. But the reasons for the closing of Brad Denenberg' Seed Philly don't necessarily indicate a trend.
Denenberg told Philly by email that he had below market rent in a building that had recently sold, and he had been operating under month-to-month terms under the new ownership. And they terminated the leaase. Denenberg says he has no plans at present to open a new facility.