Wave, the market leader in interactive virtual entertainment experiences, today announced that it has appointed gaming industry veteran Jarred Kennedy to serve as its COO. In his new role, Kennedy will oversee core operations and growth as Wave rapidly expands its relationships with artists, distributions platforms and sponsors to bring virtual concert experiences to fans around the world. Kennedy will report to Wave’s CEO and co-founder Adam Arrigo. 

Kennedy joins Wave from Riot Games where he served on the executive team and spent 7 years leading a diverse set of businesses and functions including Global Esports, Consumer Products, and Business Development. During his tenure, the League of Legends World Championships grew to become an Emmy award-winning spectacle delivering peak competition and augmented reality music performances to 100MM viewers around the world.

In his most recent role as Global Head of Entertainment Businesses and Partnerships, Kennedy was responsible for leading Riot’s operations and investments focused on broader entertainment including animation, long-form storytelling, music and live experiences. At Wave, Kennedy will work with the team to develop personalized artist avatars, and interactive virtual environments and formats, including in-game activations and social experiences for the next generation of concert-goers.

Wave is in the midst of its biggest year ever, working with major and emerging artists, labels and AAA gaming companies looking to engage with audiences at the nexus of entertainment and gaming. Most recently, Wave announced $30M in Series B funding with leading venture capitalists including Maveron, Griffin Gaming Partners, Superfly Ventures and more. Additionally, the company’s “One Wave” series of virtual concerts rolled out performances by John Legend, Tinashe and other artists, performing live as digital avatars for more than 500,000 fans.

“Wave is growing exponentially thanks to an incredible team of investors, partners and employees committed to our mission. With Jarred on board, we are even stronger and ready to build upon our current success,” said Arrigo. “Jarred’s wealth of knowledge in the industry, as well as understanding on how to build initiatives that tap into the core of digitally-forward culture, will allow Wave to better serve today’s digital avatar generation and increase our core technology and gaming capabilities.”

“The intersection of gaming tech and music performance provides a near limitless canvas of possibilities for creative expression and interaction,” added Kennedy. “Wave is uniquely positioned to harness that potential to deliver innovative live music experiences to fans everywhere and I’m thrilled to be joining the team.”

Kennedy’s addition to the company is one of three new executive hires this year. Earlier this year, Gary Shenk joined Wave as President, formerly CEO and founder of BEN (Branded Entertainment Network), and Matt Shaw as CTO, formerly of Riot Games, Amazon, and Electronic Arts.

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