Former Disney executive brings experience to lottery sector

Former Disney executive brings experience to lottery sector

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Susan Standiford has worked for Disney and Travelocity

Online lotteries could be in line for a blockbuster future after ZEAL appointed former Disney executive Susan Standiford as its new chief technology officer (CTO).

Standiford, who will also join the lottery operator’s executive board, told TotallyGaming.com that she wants to use her 20 years of experience across numerous digital sectors to help ZEAL improve its offering.

Her initial focus is to look at the company’s current projects and discover more about the nuances of the online gambling industry. 

“My aim is to help ZEAL as best as I can to pursue the vision to create a better world of lotteries,” Standiford said. “Initially, the most important thing is to speak to the people I will work with and find out what their thoughts and projects are.

“It is also important to dig into current projects and parts of the strategy, to get up to speed as fast as possible.

“As always there are similarities and differences when moving to a new sector. The similarities come from the fact that we are all digital. The digital business – online and mobile – has its own rules.

“I guess what is quite different is the high degree of specific regulation in the gambling industry."

Standiford most recently held the position of CTO of US shopping portal Rue La La and previously worked as vice-president of technology at Disney Online and Travelocity. 

Standiford admits that the new role with ZEAL – formerly Tipp24 - is an exciting prospect and the American is also thrilled to be based in London, which she considers a global hub for online gambling.

“ZEAL has a strong track record of more than 15 years as a successful online business – growing from a pure German lottery broker to an international holding with businesses in the B2C and B2B area," Standiford said.

"ZEAL has a clear three-pronged strategy which they are pursuing aggressively, and the people at ZEAL that I have met so far reflect that positive, innovative and engaged thinking.

“It is very exciting for me to be part of that team where my background experience can contribute to the company’s success.

“I am quite excited to have moved from the US to Europe. The UK gambling market is one of the most developed markets in the world and the online business scene in the UK is very vibrant – with some fantastic brands and companies located in London.”

ZEAL said in March that during 2015 it expects consolidated revenue to remain unchanged in the range of €135-145m ($150-161m) with an increase in consolidated EBIT to between €35-45m.

Dr Hans Cornehl, chief executive of ZEAL, added: “We are very pleased to welcome Susan to our team and to the executive board of ZEAL. She has an impressive professional track record as CTO with a focus on innovating technology and company culture.

“With Susan we will accelerate our pursuit to create a better world of lottery.”
 

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