Birch shakes up management with new Grosvenor & Mecca MDs

Birch shakes up management with new Grosvenor & Mecca MDs

Monday, September 19, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Martin Pugh is moving from Mecca to head up the Grosvenor brand

Leading leisure and gaming company The Rank Group Plc has shaken up its leadership with new appointments at the top of its two main gaming brands, Mecca and Grosvenor Casinos.

Martin Pugh, who was previously managing director for Mecca, has moved to the position of MD for Grosvenor Casinos whilst Alan Morgan has joined the company to lead the Mecca bingo brand in his absence.

It is the first major corporate activity at the listed gaming operator since the failed attempt to instigate a major merger with William Hill and 888 Holdings. While the bookmaker was not for wooing, the audacity of the move in conjunction with 888 did no harm to Rank's corporate visibility.

Pugh has been at Rank since January 2015 having previously held a number of senior positions with leading brands in the UK including MD roles at Virgin Active Ltd and Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd.

Meanwhile Morgan joins Rank with a pub retailer background, having held senior positions at Whitbread, David Lloyd Leisure and most recently as Chief Operating & Commercial Officer at the Spirit Pub Company.

Commenting on the appointments, CEO Henry Birch said: “Following the successful turnaround of the Mecca retail business, I am delighted that Martin will now be spearheading a drive within Grosvenor Casinos to grow the retail performance of our casinos business and to continue the exceptional growth that has been achieved in the digital channel.

"With his extensive experience in multi-site management, I am confident that Alan will be a valuable addition to the Rank Executive team and will lead the Mecca team to deliver the ambitious plans that we have for the business in the future.”

Totally Gaming Says: With the distraction of the unlikely merger deal with William Hill and 888 out of the way, Henry Birch is building up a new team to press ahead with his company's plans. Pugh has shown he can be trusted at Mecca and Morgan's pub retail experience might well be useful for the new style bingo halls that Rank plans on introducing to the market.

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