Former Gala Coral boss becomes Ladbrokes chairman

Former Gala Coral boss becomes Ladbrokes chairman

Friday, December 4, 2015 Totally Gaming
John Kelly replaces Peter Erskine at Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes has appointed Gala Coral Group’s founder and former chief executive, John Kelly, as its new chairman.

Kelly, who led Gala Coral’s management buy-in from Bass Plc in 1997 and subsequently became chairman until 2009, is now set to lead the combined Ladbrokes Coral following the proposed merger of the two companies.

Kelly was appointed a non-executive director and senior independent director at Ladbrokes in 2010, and seven months ago was tasked with finding a replacement for outgoing Peter Erskine.

"It is a great honour to take on the role of chairman of Ladbrokes at such an exciting time in the company's history,” Kelly said.“We have an aggressive organic plan for growth under our new chief executive, Jim Mullen, and are working hard towards the proposed merger with Coral Group.

“While there has been much to do, the board and the executive team are focused on delivering for shareholders and I remain confident in the direction and momentum in the business.”

The merger between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral was passed by Ladbrokes shareholders last month, although some investors were unhappy about the terms.

Kelly has also been appointed chair of the Nomination Committee and appointed as a member of the Remuneration Committee. He has ceased to be a member of the Audit and Social Responsibility Committees, with Sly Bailey appointed as chair of the latter.

Speaking about Erskine, Kelly said: "Peter has worked extremely hard to steer the business through a much needed modernisation and had to help the business face up to some very significant challenges. 

“Peter's commitment and endeavour has been crucial to getting the business to a point where we have two strong options open to us for growing the business.”

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