OPAP starts new CEO search as Damian Cope ends tenure

The board of Athens-listed OPAP SA has revealed that Damian Cope has chosen to end his tenure as Group Chief Executive, and will depart the company in May.

Updating company stakeholders, OPAP said that it has started a succession planning process to find Cope’s leadership replacement.

Cope will maintain his position as an OPAP board member, and from 1 June will also serve as a corporate advisor to OPAP majority shareholder SAZKA Group, where he will consult on further international growth opportunities.

 The announcement will see OPAP temporarily restructure its executive leadership team, led by long term executive Jan Karas as Interim CEO. Karas was recently promoted to Group CCO, following an OPAP C-level executive restructure undertaken last month 

Issuing a statement, OPAP Chairman Kamil Ziegler praised Cope’s tenure in which the executive has led OPAP’s ‘modernisation programme’, revitalising the firm’s retail offering and upgrading its operating systems.   

Ziegler commented: “I greatly appreciate Damian’s work and contribution to the development of our company activities, as well as his effective collaboration with the Board of Directors throughout his term.

“Damian’s early disclosure of his intentions to relocate to stay with his family allowed the Board to prepare a succession plan in advance of his departure.”

This morning, Cope delivered his final trading update as Group CEO, in which OPAP stated that 99% of corporate revenues had been wiped out by COVID-19 impacts, forcing OPAP to temporarily close its Greek and Cypriot outlets.

On current projections, it anticipates having to absorb an EBITDA blow of €50-53 million should Greece’s lockdown be extended beyond April

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