John W Fanning born December 21st, 1963 was the Chairman and CEO of Napster. He worked at the company with his nephew Shawn Fanning. He owned 70% of the company and represented the founders on the board of directors. He currently lives on Blackrock Beach on the south shore of Massachusetts.

Fanning is an early internet entrepreneur, who with Brian Moore and Tony Acero built the first Internet chess server in the late 1980s and early 1990s. That project led to the development of Chess.net[1], an internet chess service rebuilt from scratch, launched in 1993.[2] Currently, Chess.net owned by NetGames, is part of the portfolio of NetCapital, a small private equity firm.[3] Fanning is the Chairman of NetCapital.

John Fanning has introduced such net-related innovations as client-server game play, audio chat, and auto-upgrading/authentication. He has patents for Real Time Search Engine, and Use Sensitive Distribution of Data Files Between Users.

Fanning is also an accomplished poker player, a talkative and brash player at the tables, as shown during his appearance on the 2005 European Poker Tour in Monte Carlo, where he finished in 21st place for 11.5K Euros. In November 2004 Fanning rose to 8th in the world on the World Poker tour winning $200,178.