Betfred on the hunt for a new CEO after Haddock's departure

Betfred on the hunt for a new CEO after Haddock's departure

Thursday, September 29, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Owner Fred Done is back overseeing the 'world's biggest independent bookmaker'

Fred Done, owner of Betfred, Britain’s fourth biggest bookmaker (soon to be third when the Ladbrokes-Coral merger happens) is back at the reins of the company after the sudden departure of CEO John Haddock.

Done, who stepped away from the CEO role two years ago, has taken on the duties again until the bookmaker can find a replacement for Haddock, who had been with the firm for 30 years, seeing the bookmaker grow from 25 shops to c1,400 today.

After years as managing director of Betfred’s retail business, during which time he oversaw the rebranding from Done Bookmakers and also the integration of the Tote’s retail betting estate, Haddock became CEO in 2014. But his departure has been marked by a falling performance in recent years.

Done told the Racing Post: "John Haddock has departed from the Betfred Group as CEO. I would like to thank John for his 30 years of loyal unblemished service and I wish him well for the future. For the time being I shall be assuming all of John’s duties.”

Betfred posted a loss of £76.7m for the year to 27 September 2015, compared to a profit of £31.5m for the previous 18-month accounting period, due to ‘exceptional items’ of £83.7m. EBITDA also dropped 16% to £56.5m compared to the previous year.

Haddock’s strong expertise in the retail sector it appears is no longer enough in the UK betting market where most of the growth is online. The increasing costs around regulation in the retail sector, as well as the political uncertainty around FOBTs, are also hampering business for all betting shop operators.

Totally Gaming says: It’s an unusual time for Betfred to be losing its CEO given the firm is reportedly in pole position to pick up the 350 or so shops that are being made available from the Ladbrokes-Coral merger. But given Done’s hands on approach to his business, at least they have one of the most experienced people in the industry steadying the tiller for now. 

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