Ladbrokes owner GVC’s long-standing boss Kenny Alexander to step down

The boss of Ladbrokes and Coral owner GVC Holdings is to leave the betting giant after 13 years at its helm.

Shares in the company slipped after Kenny Alexander said he will step down from the role on Friday, when he will be succeeded by current operating chief Shay Segev.

During his tenure as chief executive, Mr Alexander transformed the firm from a small AIM-listed company into a FTSE 100 giant with 25,000 staff after a string of well-received deals.

“I have given 13 years to GVC and I now want to give some time to my family,” Mr Alexander said.

GVC Holdings' departing chief executive Kenny Alexander (GVC/PA)
GVC Holdings’ departing chief executive Kenny Alexander (GVC/PA)

“I have enjoyed every minute of helping to grow GVC into the business that it is today, and am proud of all that has been achieved.”

His successor, Mr Segev, has been chief operating officer at the company since March 2016, joining it shortly after the acquisition of Bwin Party Digital Entertainment.

Mr Segev said: “Kenny has been a fantastic colleague and leader during the four years I have worked with him.

“Thanks to his stewardship, I am succeeding him at a time when the business is in robust financial health with an exceptional team and exciting opportunities ahead of it, especially in the US.”

GVC announced the change in leadership as it also told investors that it saw an “encouraging” start to the year despite the impact of Covid-19.

It said net gaming revenue fell by 11% in the first six months of 2020, while online gaming revenue increased by 19% over the period.

Online revenues were particularly strong over the quarter to the end of June, rising by 22% despite the impact of the cancellation of major sporting events.

GVC said it expects earnings before tax and interest for the period to be between £340 million and £350 million.

Mr Alexander added: “Given the extraordinary circumstances in which the group is currently operating, delivering double-digit online net gaming revenue growth in all of our major territories is a very strong performance.

“It is a clear testament to the strength and diversification of our business model, the quality of our technology, the enduring appeal of our brands, and the talent, commitment and professionalism of our people.

“We have worked hard to achieve our target of operating at cash neutral throughout the lockdown period, which has enabled the group to retain the necessary financial strength to be able to take advantage of growth opportunities as and when they are presented to it.”

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