28th of March 2010 Author: Glo Wood
Spread-betting exec to head one of the industry's top companies.
Months of speculation came to a head this weekend with the widely reported UK news that Richard Glynn (45) has been tapped as the new chief executive of major online and land gambling group Ladbrokes.
Glynn is currently chairman of Sporting Index, a UK spread-betting company, and is reportedly finalising his contract. Most UK news agencies and newspapers speculate that his appoinment will be formally announced by Ladbrokes this coming week.
The consensus appears to be that Glynn will take over from predecessor Chris Bell sometime in April, with Bell departing the company after nine years of service following its agm in May.
A lawyer by professional discipline, Glynn has a wealth of experience in the online gambling milieu, an area where Ladbrokes has strong future ambitions. His track record in growing Sporting Index, and especially its mobile operations, is thought to have appealed to Ladbrokes chairman Peter Erskine, who led the hunt for Bell's replacement.
Glynn was the analysts' favourite for the Ladbrokes job, along with Andy Harrison, the departing chief of budget airline EasyJet who is to lead the Whitbread hospitality group. Other contenders were Richard Segal, former head of Odeon cinemas; Carl Leaver, a former executive at De Vere; and internal candidates that included Brian Wallace, Ladbrokes' finance director, and John O'Reilly, head of the group's online operation.
Under Glynn, Ladbrokes will be expected to improve an online offering that has slipped behind rivals such as Bet365. In January Ladbrokes reported a 32 percent fall in annual pre-tax profits to GBP 174.1 million that was blamed mainly on the economic recession.
Last October Ladbrokes raised GBP 274.6 million in a rights issue. The company employs 15 000 people and is one of the world's largest betting groups with 2 700 betting shops in Britain, Ireland, Belgium and Spain.
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