Fanatics, a global digital sports platform, announced the appointment of Krishna Rao as the new chief financial officer of Fanatics Commerce, which operates a vertically-integrated platform of digital and physical capabilities for licensed sports merchandise that drives growth and great fan experiences for leading sports leagues, teams, colleges, and associations globally.
In his role, Rao will oversee all finance functions and strategic planning activities for the Commerce business, reporting to Fanatics Commerce CEO and Fanatics vice chairman, Doug Mack.
“I am thrilled to welcome Krishna to our Fanatics Commerce leadership team as we continue to scale our business globally and further integrate across the entire Fanatics platform,” said Mack. “Over the course of his career, Krishna has served as strategic financial leader and investor for world-class brands and has a strong mindset for profitable growth and value creation. His strategic approach and financial expertise will have an immediate impact on our company and our unrelenting mission to continually enhance the fan and partner experience worldwide.”
Rao joins Fanatics from Cedar, a healthcare payments and patient engagement platform, where he served as the company’s CFO, leading both the finance function and operational initiatives. Previously, he was global head of corporate & business development and led Corporate and Operations FP&A for Airbnb, where his work ranged from helping to navigate financially through the COVID-19 pandemic to playing a leading role in raising over $10 billion of equity and debt capital, including Airbnb’s IPO and private financings. Rao also previously served as a private equity investor at Blackstone and as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company.
Commenting on his appointment, Rao said: “I have long admired the transformative business that Fanatics has built over more than a decade. The opportunity to partner with Doug and the incredibly talented global Commerce team as they continue to revolutionise the licensed sports industry is truly exciting.
“I am energised to join such an innovative company and broader digital sports platform that is hyper-focused on creating memorable experiences for sports fans around the world.”