The Rank Group Plc has announced the appointment of Henry Birch, who will succeed Ian Burke as chief executive of Rank with effect from 6 May 2014. Burke, who is currently also executive chairman of Rank, will become non-executive chairman with effect from 6 May 2014. The Rank board believes it appropriate to ensure that the company benefits from some continuity to ensure a smooth transition of executive responsibilities.
Birch is currently a non-executive director of the AIM-listed CFD trading platform operator, PLUS 500 PLC. He has more than 20 years of experience in the betting and gaming sector and in online and broadcast media. Most recently he was the chief executive officer of William Hill Online, the joint venture between William Hill plc and Playtech plc, which managed William Hill’s online business. Prior to working at William Hill Online, Henry was the chief executive officer of Leisure & Gaming plc, an AIM-listed company that owned and operated a number of online and retail betting and gaming subsidiaries.
In a statement, Rank said: “With his track record in the online betting and gaming sector, the Rank board believes that Henry is well-equipped to lead Rank’s continued exploitation of growth opportunities in the gaming and leisure markets. The board would like to thank Ian for his commitment and hard work over the past eight years and is delighted that, after consultation with a number of its shareholders, the company will continue to benefit from his significant experience in his role as non-executive chairman of Rank.”