Several top executives, including Chief Executive Justin Kaufenberg, have left SportsEngine, a developer of software for amateur sports teams that has been one of the fastest-growing tech firms in Minneapolis in recent years.
Brian Bell, who joined SportsEngine in 2015 and became president last year, was appointed to succeed Kaufenberg on Monday. The change comes about three years after the company was purchased by NBC Sports Group, a unit of Comcast's NBCUniversal.
Kaufenberg, a former college hockey player, founded what would eventually become SportsEngine in his dormitory room at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2002, with a classmate, Carson Kipfer.
Kipfer, who was principal designer at Sports Engine, and Greg Blasko, the chief technology officer, also left the company — as did Anna Klombies, who ran human resources.
"I've moved on," Kaufenberg said when reached by phone on Wednesday.
In a statement the company issued earlier in the week, Kaufenberg said, "Brian Bell and the rest of the leadership team are exceptional and they are just getting started."
Since being acquired by NBC Sports, SportsEngine has grown to about 450 employees from 250. The firm said it has had record growth "three years running" under the NBC Sports umbrella. It declined to disclose revenue but said it now serves about 45,000 sports organizations.
Pete Bevacqua, president of NBC Sports, said in a statement: "The entire SportsEngine team has exceeded our expectations … NBC is behind the entire SportsEngine organization with more resources and commitment to growth and innovation than ever."
Kaufenberg and Kipfer raised $39 million in private capital to fund SportsEngine's early growth before the sale to NBC.
In a statement, Kipfer said the former executives are proud of what they accomplished. "Joining forces with NBC Sports in 2016 ensured that SportsEngine would be a forever company," he said. "It is impossible to imagine a better situation."
The exit of Kaufenberg, Kipfer and Blasko may have been related to the expiration of retention contracts associated with the purchase. It is sometimes the case that founding executives are bound by contracts from leaving a company for a period after a sale.
Kaufenberg and a SportsEngine spokeswoman declined on Wednesday to comment about the timing.
Bell earlier served as president of Code42, another Minneapolis software firm. He also served as a top sales executive at Compellent Technologies, the data storage company that was sold several years ago to Dell.