GameWorks, Inc., a full entertainment and dining experience for families, teens and millennials with seven locations nationwide, announced today that ExWorks Capital has assumed full ownership of the Company and appointed new leadership. ExWorks has been a lender to GameWorks since 2017, and recently restructured its investment, giving it full control of the Company. Concurrent with the change in corporate ownership, Philip N. Kaplan was named chairman and chief executive officer. In this capacity, Kaplan will lead day-to-day business operations and direct the Company’s growth and expansion.
Kaplan brings nearly 30 years of diverse business operational experience at both public and private companies to his new leadership role. He has established a proven track record in leading strategic operations and helping companies scale to achieve rapid growth. Over the course of his extensive career, Kaplan held myriad management positions in which he directed efforts surrounding corporate mergers, acquisitions, integrations and reorganizations.
Most recently, Kaplan served as managing partner of April Mountain Properties, LLC, a family owned real-estate company that owns and operates residential rental properties. During his five years in this role, he grew the business substantially. Prior, he was chief executive officer and board member at private equity-held dbtech, a leader in healthcare workflow automation solutions. Kaplan also served as chief operating officer and board member of Quality Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:QSII), a healthcare IT company. Earlier, he was chief strategy officer of Internap Network Services Corporation (NASDAQ: INAP), which acquired VitalStream Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTH), a software-as-a-network service that enabled enterprise, entertainment and media clients to deliver video and audio experiences to global online audiences, which Kaplan co-founded. Kaplan was president, chief operating officer and Board member at VitalStream until the February 2007 acquisition. He was then instrumental in the transition and integration of the two entities. Currently, Kaplan is a member of the board of directors of the online action sports company, Surfline.com.
Kaplan replaces Greg Stevens, who served as GameWorks’ chief executive officer for six years.
“GameWorks has built a strong foundation and established a solid reputation in an industry that is continually expanding and poised for considerable growth. With Phil at the helm, we see an enormous opportunity to capitalize on this explosive market acceptance of entertainment concepts by growing the GameWorks brand and footprint. We look forward to the contributions he will make in his new leadership role,” noted Randall Abrahams, ExWorks’ executive chairman.
“Joining the GameWorks leadership team allows me to bring a fresh and dynamic new vision to the Company, one that is focused on ensuring our guests have extraordinary, energetic and fun experiences when visiting our locations. To this end, working closely with our new owners, GameWorks will soon be bolstering several aspects of its stimulating offering through key initiatives that will further distinguish the Company within the family entertainment space and position it for continued growth,” Kaplan explained.
“Since its founding more than 20 years ago, GameWorks has become recognized as a top destination for fun, food, excitement and a wide variety of games and eSports, where we have become widely recognized for our distinctive eSports Lounges. GameWorks will look to leverage the strength of our management and on-site location teams as well as our industry expertise to drive the future direction of our brand,” Kaplan concluded.