William Hill on hunt for new CEO after Henderson's abrupt departure

William Hill on hunt for new CEO after Henderson's abrupt departure

Thursday, July 21, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
James Henderson had been with William Hill for over 30 years

William Hill has shocked the market by announcing that its CEO James Henderson is to leave the company with immediate effect.

Henderson’s tenure at the bookmaker has not been smooth since he replaced Ralph Topping almost two years ago, indeed the company’s share price has dropped by 22% in that time, but the abrupt nature of his departure after more than 30 years with the company has caught the industry off-guard.

Chief Financial Officer Philip Bowcock has been appointed Interim CEO while the search for a permanent replacement has been instigated. An interim CFO will be announced in due course.

Chairman Gareth Davis commented: “James's career with William Hill has spanned over 30 years covering the Retail, Online and international businesses. We would like to thank him for his significant contribution and we wish him all the best for the future. Philip has a clear set of priorities as Interim CEO, principally the continued turnaround of the Online business. We will confirm a successor in the coming months."

Under Henderson’s tenure, William Hill had issued a profit warning soon after the worst Cheltenham ‘in living memory’ and unexpectedly cited anti-problem gambling measures as a reason for a drop in online performance.

The group's said its trading remains in line with the previous guidance of £260-280m of operating profit in 2016.

Totally Gaming Says: There has been a few rumblings about William Hill’s lack of action while some of its major competitors have merged – Betfair and Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and Coral and even Bwin and GVC Holdings. And it appears that the lack of progress online is what has caused Henderson’s departure, much like Richard Glynn at Ladbrokes, who also struggled with an online strategy.

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