GVC Holdings has announced that, after 13 years as Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth Alexander is to retire from the Board and from the Company. He will be succeeded by Shay Segev, GVC’s Chief Operating Officer.
The changes, which follow a long-term succession process, will take place at the close of business tomorrow (17 July 2020). Shay will join the Board from 17 July 2020. Kenneth has offered to remain available to Shay and the team as required.
Kenneth joined GVC as CEO in 2007 and has overseen its development from a small AIM-listed company to a FTSE 100 global sports betting and gaming business, with over 25,000 colleagues in 20 offices across five continents.
Shay has been Chief Operating Officer of GVC since March 2016, joining shortly after GVC had acquired bwin.party digital entertainment plc. As part of the succession planning process, Shay already has direct responsibility for GVC’s industry-leading proprietary technology platform, its US joint venture with MGM Resorts, all Group M&A and Corporate Development activity, its retail business, as well as the product, trading and customer service teams, among others. He has also been instrumental in delivering the highly successful integrations of both bwin and Ladbrokes Coral.
Kenneth Alexander said: “I have given 13 years to GVC and I now want to give some time to my family. 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. We have the best people, brands and technology in our sector, and our joint venture in the US with MGM Resorts positions us very strongly for growth in that hugely exciting market.
“I have spent the last four months working from home and reflecting on my future plans, and this feels like the right moment. Whilst it is never easy to hand the baton on, it has been very clear for a number of years now that Shay is the right person to succeed me. He is an outstanding leader with a clear strategic vision and unrivalled technological expertise. As a shareholder, I know that our Company will be in good hands. He is also a firm advocate for the strongest possible protection for customers, and shares my philosophy that only a responsible company can be a sustainable and successful company.”
Barry Gibson, Chairman of GVC, said: “Kenny has built a remarkable global business, and has achieved more in the past 13 years than most people manage in a lifetime. We will miss him, but we also understand his wishes to hand over the reins after such a long and successful stint at the top of the Company. On behalf of the Board, I would like to sincerely thank him for his significant contribution to GVC.
“The Board has kept succession plans under constant review, and has been extremely impressed by Shay’s contribution and leadership. We are very fortunate to have such a well-qualified and natural successor. He has a long track record of leading technology businesses, overseeing complex integration projects, and running large teams at a senior level. Today’s trading update shows just how strong this business is, and we look to the future with confidence under Shay’s leadership.”
Shay Segev said: “I am hugely honoured to have been given this opportunity by the Board to lead GVC into the next phase of its development. 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. Our strategy will continue to be focused on our industry-leading technology, brands, products, marketing capabilities and people, as well as being absolutely committed to making gambling as safe and enjoyable as possible for our customers around the world.”
UK industry association The Betting and Gaming Council CEO Michael Dugher, Betting and Gaming Council said of the change: “Kenny’s phenomenal achievements in business speak for themselves. He has grown a company into a FTSE 100 leisure and entertainment business under his outstanding leadership.
“Kenny helped create the Betting and Gaming Council because I know he understood that the whole industry needed to drive changes in the future and work for ever higher standards. And as a great horses and football man, he understood his customers and he brought that authenticity, directness and indeed an infectious sense of humour that we will all miss at the BGC. We wish him and his family all the very best.
“In Shay Segev, GVC have a super-talented successor to lead the company. He has a proven track record of running the major parts of the GVC business – from Ladbrokes/Coral migration to trading, customer service and their US venture. We look forward to working with him closely, not least on the Government’s forthcoming Review of Gambling”.