Skillz Stock Rallies After Naming Former Amazon Exec as Chief Product Officer

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By Sam Boughedda — Mobile games platform Skillz Inc (NYSE:) stock rallied Thursday after the company named former Amazon (NASDAQ:) executive Vatsal Bhardwaj as its chief product officer.

Skillz shares are up over 10% at $10.13. 

Bhardwaj, who Skillz describes as an experienced gaming executive, most recently served as the General Manager and Director of Game Tech for Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

While with AWS, Bhardwaj started one of the most significant open-source initiatives, Amazon GameSparks, Open 3D engine, growing Amazon Gamelift, and launching several new initiatives in gaming. 

“With an outstanding track record at both Amazon and Facebook, Vatsal brings nearly two decades of experience to the Skillz leadership team at a pivotal time as we aggressively scale and grow our business around the world,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO and founder of Skillz. 

Before his role at Amazon , Bhardwaj was head of product for several groups at Facebook, where he led the company’s India growth teams. Before Facebook, he served as general manager and head of studios at Storm8 and undertook related roles at and Zynga.

As Chief Product Officer at Skillz, Bhardwaj will report directly to Paradise while leading the global product team.

“Under his direction, our product team will develop and deploy innovative new gameplay technologies, accelerate our entry into multiplayer synchronous gaming, and build out brand-sponsored tournaments and partnerships, giving both our players and developers the best experience possible,” said Paradise.

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