Troubled Esports Brand FaZe Clan Terminates CEO Lee Trink ‘Effective Immediately’

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A shot of Waiblingen, Germany-based esports training facility 1337Camp. Photo Credit: ELLA DON

Troubled esports and lifestyle brand FaZe Clan has officially terminated its CEO of five years, Lee Trink.

The publicly traded company, shares in which have plummeted by nearly 99 percent since mid-September of 2022, quietly announced the “leadership transition” via a formal release. Esports trades promptly picked up on the news, which is just now entering the music industry spotlight.

Previously an Atlantic and EMI exec, Trink signed on with FaZe Clan as an advisor in 2016 before beginning as CEO in September of 2018. But for a variety of reasons, it’s been a downhill ride for the Jimmy Iovine-backed company since it listed on the public market via a SPAC merger in July of 2022.

Shares parted with north of 25 percent of their worth immediately thereafter, and Snoop Dogg, having joined the gaming collective’s board of directors in March of 2022, abruptly ducked out of the operation in April of this year.

The following month, former BMG exec and Raised In Space CEO Zach Katz, who’d started as FaZe Clan’s president and COO in May of 2022, exited the role. And in August, the business reported Q2 2023 revenue of $11.69 million (down 37.84 percent year over year) as well as a quarterly net loss of $14.36 million.

Bearing in mind these less-than-ideal points, FaZe Clan’s initially mentioned announcement message notes only that the board “took action to terminate Lee Trink from his position as” CEO “effective immediately.”

“In accordance with the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines,” the text reads in part, “as a result of this termination, Mr. Trink is required to submit his resignation as a member of the Board.”

At the time of this writing, Trink didn’t appear to have addressed the matter with a formal statement or video on social media or LinkedIn. But the former Dare Mighty Entertainment president has updated his employment details on the latter platform, which now shows that he’s a self-employed entrepreneur.

The board has also tapped COO and CFO Christoph Pachler (previously a Sony Pictures Entertainment higher-up) to serve as interim CEO; it’s unclear whether he will take on the position on a non-interim basis or when a permanent replacement will be named.

Once again at the time of this writing, FaZe Clan’s stock (NASDAQ: FAZE) was down 2.17 percent on the day, for a per-share value of 18 cents and a market cap of somewhere in the ballpark of $13.44 million.