In a surprise move, William Hill has announced a change in leadership in revealing that Ulrik Bengtsson is to replace Philip Bowcock as CEO at the end of the month.
Bengtsson, previously William Hill’s Chief Digital Officer, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer Designate and a Director of the Company with immediate effect and will assume full CEO responsibilities from 30 September.
The company said that Bowcock will continue on at Hills until the end of the year in order to assist with the transition. It added: “This change is part of William Hill’s succession planning and consistent with the Group’s strategy of becoming a digitally led and internationally diverse gambling company.”
Roger Devlin, Chairman of William Hill, said: “I would like to thank Philip for his important contribution to William Hill over the last four years, both as CFO and for three years as CEO. During that time, Philip has built a great team, with real depth and a strong culture and overall the business is in good shape.
“He has led the business through a period of unprecedented change including the challenges of the Triennial Review and has set a clear strategy, driven our expansion in the US and reinvented our approach to safer gambling.
“The Board is pleased to appoint Ulrik to the role. Having overseen the Group’s digital operations for 18 months, he knows the business well and is ideally suited to lead our next phase of growth. Ulrik has deep understanding in digital and has the international and sector experience we need to deliver on our strategy. His appointment will provide continuity, stability and operational digital leadership as we deliver on the strategy we have set.”
Bengtsson joined William Hill in April 2018 and was previously President and Chief Executive Officer of Betsson AB. He said: “I am delighted to be taking on the CEO role at such an exciting time for William Hill and look forward to working with the team to deliver our strategy. We have a great opportunity to build William Hill as a digital and international business by driving Online growth in the UK and internationally, growing a scale US business, remodelling Retail and delivering our Nobody Harmed ambition.”
Bowcock added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at William Hill. It has been an intense period with the industry and business experiencing significant structural and regulatory change. After all the work the team has done I believe the business is now well placed to take advantage of the opportunities presented in the US market as well as continued growth in digital. Having recruited and worked with Ulrik for the last year and a half, I am confident he will take advantage of the opportunities ahead and we will see William Hill go from strength to strength.”