The British gambling operator William Hill has revealed that its Chief Executive Officer Philip Bowcock is stepping down. As revealed by the company, Mr Bowcock’s position is to be taken by the boss of William Hill’s digital unit, Ulrik Bengtsson.
As planned, Mr Bowcock will remain at the gambling giant until the end of 2019 in order to help with the transition. Mr Bengtsson is to officially take over the role of CEO on September 30th. He joined the gambling company in April 2018 after previously working at the Swedish online gambling operator Betsson.
The transition is to put an end the tenure of Mr Bowcock as boss of William Hill, which he joined in November 2015 at the position of Chief Financial Officer. Less than a year later, in July 2016, he was appointed as interim CEO, and then in March 2017, he became CEO of the gambling group.
William Hill has revealed that the top executive’s change formed part of the gambling giant’s strategy of becoming more oriented towards its digital operations. The company further noted that it is willing to see a more diversified presence on a global scale. The beginning of August saw the British gambling giant recognise US expansion and increasing digitalisation of the betting sector as part of its top priorities which are expected to help it compensate for its weaker performance in the retail domestic market.
Stricter Regulation in Domestic Retail Gambling Sector Has Seriously Affected the Gambling Firm
Reportedly, the British gambling firm’s retail business has been more seriously affected by the latest changes in the maximum betting stake allowed on controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
As Casino Guardian has previously reported, this spring the UK Government finally imposed stricter measures on the gambling machines, slashing the maximum stake they take from £100 to £2. The change has hit the performance of all gambling companies which have been largely dependent on their FOBT revenue, with William Hill taking a deeper hit in comparison to some of its rivals.
On August 9th, William Hill officially unveiled its results for the first six months of the ongoing fiscal year to July 2nd, 2019. At the time, it announced that the implementation of the Government’s FOBT crackdown and the new £2 stake of the machines have influenced the overall performance of the company, leading only to 1% increase of the group net revenue to £811.7 million. A massive 33% drop was registered in the adjusted operating profit of William Hill over the first half of the current financial year.
Online gambling, on the other hand, has been considered a highly profitable sector of the gambling industry. An increasing number of companies have been turning their eyes to the online sector, and William Hill which is also aimed at digital growth hopes to facilitate the process by the appointment of its Chief Digital Officer Ulrik Bengtsson to the CEO position.