Kevin McGovern knows he has a tough act to follow.
McGovern recently succeeded Bill Bacic as Deloitte & Touche LLP’s New England managing partner. Bacic had the top regional job at the accounting and consulting firm since 2004 and became one of the city’s most well-connected business leaders.
The handoff has already begun: McGovern started in his new role on April 1, while Bacic will continue to work with clients until he retires in early June.
Both men are longtime Deloitte employees, with Bacic acting as a key mentor during their nearly three decades together in the Boston office.
McGovern’s roles have included running Deloitte’s national regulatory compliance practice, giving him exposure to a variety of financial, energy and life sciences clients.
But the Andover resident’s days of flying around the country for Deloitte are probably over. His job now will focus on building Deloitte’s New England base of clients and guiding the firm’s nearly 2,000 employees in the region, who largely are based at 200 Berkeley St., a.k.a. the old Hancock Tower.
McGovern is already taking on some of Bacic’s previous roles in the business community. He expects to take Bacic’s place on the board of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors. McGovern has also joined the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, and he is talking with the New England Council about becoming a board member there.
McGovern wants to increase his Deloitte team’s focus on finding the next promising startups to land as clients. That involves meeting with local entrepreneurship groups such as TUGG and making sure Deloitte’s “Tech-Venture Center” in its Back Bay building continues to thrive, as well as scouting cities that are far from the Route 128 beltway.
“We don’t know where the next Vertex is coming from,”
McGovern says. “Part of my job is to look around and keep my ear to the ground.” — JON CHESTO
Startup’s gear NFL-bound
We hear a lot about how Big Data is transforming business. It’s also transforming some of the biggest, fastest, strongest athletes.
The Boston sports-technology startup WHOOP landed a deal to have professional football players uses its wearable electronic device to measure their body’s performance. A former resident of the Harvard Innovation Lab, WHOOP this week inked a partnership with the NFL Players Association, making its gear the “Officially Licensed Recovery Wearable” of the players union.
Strapped onto an arm, the device spits back readouts of how hard athletes have worked, how well their bodies have recovered, even how much they’re sleeping. Think of it as a high-tech upgrade on the statistics-obsessed sports-management model of the “Moneyball” era.
The devices will be distributed to all NFL players, who can wear them during workouts, practices, and games. Players, the union said, will control their own data. They could package information about how well running backs perform the week after Thursday night games, for example, and sell it to sports-data companies that supply broadcasters, sports books, and professional trainers.
More information could also give players better insights into their bodies, in a profession in which prolonging a career for just a few months can be worth big bucks.
“I want to recover faster, avoid injuries, and have a longer career,” the Los Angeles Chargers’ Russell Okung said in a statement.
WHOOP investors include VCs at Accomplice, Founder Collective, and NextView Ventures. — CURT WOODWARD
Sprucing up Worcester
In 2012, two College of the Holy Cross roommates decided to venture off campus and get to know Worcester better. Jeff Reppucci and Derek Kump discovered that many schoolyards, parks, and other recreational areas were in serious disrepair. That led them to create Working for Worcester, a group dedicated to revitalizing the city’s public spaces.
It began with a handful of student volunteers and shoestring funding. Five years later, it involves more than 5,000 people and dozens of corporate sponsors, including Bay State Savings Bank, Hanover Insurance Group, AbbVie, Consigli, and Fallon Health.
Working for Worcester estimates it has raised at least $500,000 and, along with donated labor and materials, invested more than $1 million in the city.
The group’s annual Build Day is Saturday, when volunteers will paint, clean, landscape, repair playgrounds, and even build food pantries at local schools and nonprofits, such as Head Start, Women Together, the YMCA, and the Boys & Girls Clubs.
For Reppucci, 26, who’s now at the Worcester Idea Lab and wants to create a downtown public market, the project’s transformation has been a thing to behold.
“We honestly thought it would be a one-off project,” he says, “and it just took off.” — SACHA PFEIFFER
Fantasy-deal reality check
Last week, the daily fantasy sports startup RotoQL was bragging about a who’s who of investors in its new $1.2 million financing round. Days later, that all-star roster got a bit shorter when DraftKings CEO Jason Robins backed out of the deal.
RotoQL software helps players analyze real athletes’ statistics and compile them into fantasy rosters. The startup was founded by Boston’s Saahil Sud, ranked the world’s number one daily fantasy sports player. That’s where the problem arose. Other daily fantasy players weren’t happy about Robins investing his money in a company started by his most important customer, and they let the company know on a popular fantasy forum site, RotoGrinders.
DraftKings, you might remember, has some history with issues involving top players. In 2014, the company ignited a regulatory backlash when it came out that employees were playing against everyday contestants on competing websites. DraftKings subsequently banned the practice.
As for the RotoQL deal, Robins quickly sold his stake, which he noted was less than 1 percent of the new investment round. “While I believe in helping new small businesses get off the ground, my top priority has always been DraftKings and our player community,” he said in a statement. — CURT WOODWARD