Gov. Ned Lamont has nominated Rob Simmelkjaer, CEO of the Norwalk-based social media platform Persona, to become chairman of the board of directors of the Connecticut Lottery Corp. If confirmed, he would replace Donald DeFranzo, who stepped down from the unpaid volunteer position in January.
In an interview with the Business Journal in March, Simmelkjaer described Persona as an “Instagram for interviews” that allows people to record and post original conversations.
“What I’m trying to create with Persona is a platform that encourages people to use social media to ask questions and get answers and have conversations,” he said. “We’re trying to create a space for the interviewer to become another kind of influencer.”
Before starting Persona, Simmelkjaer was a senior vice president at NBC Sports in Stamford and also served as an on-air contributor on several NBCUniversal channels including NBC Sports, NBCSN, NBC Sports Radio, NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.
Earlier in his career, he held executive and on-air positions with ESPN and was also a correspondent with ABC News. He is on the State Central Committee of the Connecticut Democratic Party, but will resign from that post if he is confirmed for the Connecticut Lottery Corp. chairmanship.