John ‘Skip’ Connors has replaced founder Jesse Lawrence as chief executive of TicketIQ.

Lawrence, who founded the ticketing marketplace in 2009, will continue to lead sales and strategic industry partnerships at the New York-headquartered company.

Connors became senior vice-president of partnerships towards the end of 2016, and during the last six months has implemented a strategic plan for university and professional team sales development and brought in several former athletes and sports executives as company advisors to continue driving the company’s market visibility and league relationships.

Prior to TicketIQ, Connors was president and chief executive of Newstec, a technology company focused on the newspaper advertising software business, and subsequent to that was general manager at Learfield Sports.

“I look forward to driving the continued growth of TicketIQ, both through the consumer brand as well as our unique set of digital products and services to help rights holders compete in a rapidly evolving ticketing and distribution landscape,” said Connors.

Connors will continue the integration of TicketIQ’s purchase of secondary ticket platform SeatSmart, working closely with newly-appointed chief operating officer Brett Cohen and chief technology officer Aaron Pearson who lead the company’s product and development teams, respectively.

While at Newstec, Connors built the business to profitability and led the sale of the business to Quipp Systems and Illinois Tool Works. At Learfield Sports, Connors was responsible for all facets of monetisation for NCAA partners, including sponsorship, TV and radio rights, and ticketing.

Lawrence said: “Skip brings a depth of executive experience and industry relationships to the company that will help TicketIQ scale the business going forward. Skip believes deeply in the TicketIQ model and is excited to help drive the overall growth of the business.”

TicketIQ was founded as TiqIQ eight years ago, but rebranded at the end of 2016. It works directly with more than 50 professional rights holders to help drive digital marketing and distribution with the goal of helping teams, festivals and other events optimise margins across channels while also bringing unique and differentiated products directly to consumers.

The company recently closed their Series A round of venture-backed financing, led by Contour Ventures and Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners.