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December 19, 2002
by Hiawatha Bray
Killeen is named CEO of Internet gaming firm
Former Fidelity Investments and Terra Lycos executive Stephen Killeen has been tapped as the new chief executive of WorldWinner, a Newton Internet gaming company.
WorldWinner has partner relationships with two of the biggest Internet portals, Yahoo and Lycos. After becoming president of Terra Lycos's US operations in 2001, Killeen took note of the WorldWinner business model. ''I saw it and said, "This is a really interesting business proposition,''' Killeen said. ''It's a great business model.''
WorldWinner is an Internet-based entertainment service where people play games against each other, such as blackjack or chess. Players pay a per-game entry fee ranging from 25 cents to $20. WorldWinner takes a cut of the fees, while the winner of each game gets the rest.
''This is games of skill, not games of chance,'' said Killeen. ''You're pitting your skill level against another player's skill level.''
The WorldWinner site hosts 2 million contests each month, Killeen said. The privately held company has raised $17 million in venture capital this year, much of it from Boston-area firms Zero Stage Capital, CommonAngels, and HarbourVest Partners.
Killeen said one of his major goals will be to diversify WorldWinner's revenue stream. ''We've seen single revenue streams not work,'' he said. ''Traditional businesses have two revenue streams, if not three, so that's what we're looking at.''
The site currently doesn't sell advertising or charge players a monthly membership fee. These and other money-making possibilities are under consideration.