Henrik Tjärnström has resigned as CEO of Kindred Group, with Nils Andén named as his replacement by the firm’s Board of Directors on an interim basis.
The outgoing CEO first assumed leadership duties of the Stockholm Nasdaq gambling group in July 2010, having stepped up from his joint role as Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer, a position he began in March 2008.
He began his tenure at the firm when it was active under its original identity of the Unibet group, sharing the same name as its flagship sportsbook product – in 2003 as a Non-Executive Director and member of the firm’s Audit Committee.mer
Tjärnström remarked: “I am very pleased with the Board of Directors’ choice of Nils Andén as the interim CEO, guaranteeing a smooth hand over.”
As CEO, Tjärnström oversaw Kindred’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and through a series of fiscally difficult years, culminating in double-digit revenue declines across all its major brands in full-year 2022 trading.
During his final months in leadership, Kindred adopted new financial targets for 2023, eyeing up full-year revenue of £1.6bn, EBITDA of £200m and an accompanying EBITDA margin of between 21-22%.
Although Q1 2023 saw group-wide revenue from B2B and B2C operations – the latter predominantly from the Unibet and 32Red brands – increase 24%, the firm added that it would continue to evaluate alternative income streams, including a potential merger or sale.
His tenure also saw the firm adopt its ambitious objective of achieving 0% of revenue from harmful gambling, initially setting a target of 2023, with the current proportion its lowest on record at 3%.
Evert Carlsson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kindred, said: “Henrik has been at the helm through many important milestones passed by Kindred and has undoubtedly put his mark in both the history of the Company and the industry.
“Thus, on behalf of the Board of Directors and all shareholders I would like to thank Henrik for his valuable contributions to the success of Kindred throughout the years he has led the Company and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Following the departure of Tjärnström, achieving Kindred’s 2023 financial targets, its social responsibility and safer gambling ambitions and coordination of any possible merger or sale plans will fall on Andén’s shoulders, at least until a permanent replacement is named.
“I look very much forward to working closely with our Board of Directors, the executive management team and all employees to achieve the goals of Kindred”, Andén commented.
“I re-joined Kindred in 2020 as its Chief Commercial officer, after having had positions within Kindred between 2006 and 2016 as Head of Poker, Head of Established Markets and Chief Marketing Officer for the Unibet brand.
“I have a strong belief in our organisation and the business models that have made this Company so successful and am more confident than ever in Kindred’s potential.”
Tjärnström marks the second departure from Kindred’s senior leadership this month, following the announcement that Johan Wilsby will step down as Chief Financial Officer later this year.