May 13, 2024 3 min read


Ex-Rank Group CEO in Talks to Lead Entain

Entain has added Rank Group’s former chief executive officer, Henry Birch, to the list of contenders for the CEO position currently occupied by interim CEO Rob Wood following Jette Nygaard-Andersen resignation

FTSE-100 online gambling giant that owns Ladbrokes, Entain, has added a fresh name to the list of candidates for the chief executive officer (CEO) position. 

According to sources close to Sky News, former Rank Group CEO, Henry Birch, could take over interim CEO Rob Wood’s responsibilities.

More Names on the List 

While Birch represents a serious contender for the position that became vacant in 2023 as a result of Jette Nygaard-Andersen’s decision to resign, other names are still in contention.

Among them, the sources cited Dan Taylor, Flutter Entertainment’s international operations chief executive. 

The same sources said the appointment might still take a few more weeks or months to complete

This is because the decision comes at a challenging time for the group, a situation that mostly triggered legislative difficulties and boardroom overthrow in different global markets.

Entain’s stock was cut to half in the last year, which led to a market capitalization of just under £5 billion ($6.27 billion).

The company, which also owns 50% of BetMGM and a variety of other global gambling brands, has been pressured by its investors to move on to recruiting a fresh chief executive who has substantial gambling experience

Impressive Resume 

Birch led the group that owns the Grosvenor Casino chain until 2018. He also managed the Mecca Bingo brand. Before that, he spent four years as William Hill Online’s chief executive officer. 

After he bid farewell to Rank, he landed the CEO role for online retail company The Very Group

Under him, The Very Group managed to break the £2 billion ($2.51 billion) annual sales mark for the first time in its existence. Birch stepped down from the position in 2022.

If he is given the job, Birch may also expect to be asked to lead the company through either a full or a partial acquisition.

Earlier this year, in March, Entain said it was searching for ways to offload a few of its several brands based overseas so it could redirect its focus on its core operations.

According to activist investors, a leaner company would be better positioned to be broken up or sold to private equity giants Apollo Global Management or CVC Capital, according to The Times of London.

Last week, it was reported that former bosses of sportsbook companies Skybet and Coral had turned down overtures to become Entain’s new CEO. 

In April, chairman Barry Gibson announced his retirement later this year. He will be replaced by interim chair and ex-acting chief executive officer Stella David.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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