Barry Gibson, chairman of Entain, is set to retire later this year, paving the way for Stella David, the company’s interim CEO, to assume the role of chair.

Mr Gibson will step down from his position and the board by September 2024, though the exact timing could be earlier depending on the appointment of a permanent CEO, according to Entain.

The search for a CEO is reportedly progressing smoothly. “I have had the honor of leading Entain’s board for the past four years, and while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with this dynamic and innovative company, I have come to the decision that 2024 is the right time for my retirement,” explained Mr Gibson.

“I am thrilled that Entain has chosen Stella as my successor. She is exceptionally qualified, deeply understands the business, and has already demonstrated strong leadership as interim CEO,” Mr Gibson added.

Mr Gibson joined Entain’s board in November 2019 and assumed the role of chair in February 2020. During his tenure, the company underwent significant transformations, including a rebranding to Entain and the resolution of a longstanding investigation into its Turkish business operations.

Entain has seen substantial growth under mR Gibson’s leadership, with group EBITDA increasing by over 50% to £1 billion in 2023, and BetMGM expanding into a $2 billion business in the US, according to the company.

Stella David’s Promotion to Chair

Entain’s board selected Stella David as Gibson’s preferred successor through its succession planning process. David has been a non-executive director since March 2021 and assumed the role of interim CEO in December, following Jette Nygaard-Andersen.

“Barry has been a fantastic mentor and a source of invaluable guidance during his time as Entain’s chair, and I would like to personally thank him for his unwavering support,” said Ms David of her predecessor.

“The solid foundation and clear growth plan we have in place today are largely due to his efforts. As interim CEO, I am fully committed to accelerating our operational strategy and am eager to take over from Barry when the time comes,” she added.

Reflecting on Barry Gibson’s Leadership Barry Gibson’s journey began at GVC Holdings but culminated in his leadership role at Entain, where he oversaw significant changes within the company.

Throughout his tenure, the company faced challenges, including an investigation by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs into its Turkish business operations, which began prior to his appointment. Despite these challenges, Entain has emerged stronger, undergoing a rebranding to reflect a more socially responsible approach under Gibson’s watch. Gibson played a pivotal role in navigating Entain’s response to the Turkish investigation, resulting in a deferred prosecution agreement with the Crown Prosecution Service last year.

This agreement includes a total payment of £585 million, along with additional charitable donations and covering legal costs.

Jette Nygaard-Andersen’s tenure

During Mr Gibson’s tenure, Entain also experienced changes in its executive leadership, including the departure of CEO Kenny Alexander and subsequent appointments of Shay Segev and Jette Nygaard-Andersen. Mr Nygaard-Andersen oversaw various mergers and acquisitions, including the Entain CEE joint venture and the acquisition of BetCity in the Netherlands. However, some of these initiatives faced challenges, with activist investors questioning the company’s strategy. Under Stella David’s leadership as interim CEO, Entain has refocused its efforts on its core business of betting and gaming, distancing itself from broader interactive entertainment ventures. Regarding the company’s M&A activities, Ms David emphasized the need to address complexity and enhance agility to drive future success. Entain’s shares are currently trading up by 1.11% at 767.80 per share.

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