OPAP has appointed former Chief Commercial Officer Jan Karas as full-time CEO. Karas is stepping into the position effective January 1, 2021.
Jan Karas Appointed As Permanent CEO
Greek gambling operator OPAP has announced that former Chief Commercial Officer Jan Karas will take over as full-time CEO from the beginning of next year. Mr. Karas has been the company’s acting interim CEO since June this year.
Mr. Karas will take on the position of full-time CEO from 1 January and will also be promoted to Executive Member of OPAP’s Board of Directors.
OPAP Executive Chairman Kamil Ziegler has praised Mr. Karas’ performance as interim CEO. According to him, Mr. Karas has contributed significantly to the operator’s business initiatives. He has also been instrumental for the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for navigating the restrictive measures placed on businesses, Mr. Ziegler added.
In closing, Mr. Ziegler expressed confidence in Mr. Karas’ appointment and said that OPAP was looking forward to jointly addressing the challenges of recovering from the pandemic-born crisis.
Succeeding Damien Cope
Mr. Karas has acted as OPAP’s interim CEO since June this year. The company announced the change in May. He succeeds former CEO Damien Cope, who stepped down from the position due to the conclusion of his four-year contract.
Mr. Cope now advises OPAP’s management board and works closely with majority-shareholder Sazka Group.
Mr. Karas, who at the time acted as OPAP’s Chief Commercial Officer, took on most of Mr. Cope’s responsibilities while the company looked for a full-time replacement. In the past, he also served as Chief Operations Officer and Chief Sales Officer.
Stable Through Crisis
Last month, OPAP released its Q3 financial results. Overall, the operator managed to remain financially stable despite the stress and insecurity generated by the pandemic. OPAP reported a small 0.7% revenue drop year-on-year. However, the company’s choice to reduce spending actually led to a 6.7% increase in profits.
The company’s operating costs are down 5%, while marketing expenses are 20% lower compared to the same period last year.
OPAP has also taken steps to expand its product offerings. In October, content supplier Inspired Entertainment launched its virtual basketball game V-Play Basketball across OPAP’s sizable network of over 3,700 retail betting shops.