SBC News Entain confirms imminent exit of Barry Gibson as Chairman

Entain confirms imminent exit of Barry Gibson as Chairman

Entain Plc has informed markets that Chairman Barry Gibson will resign from all corporate governance duties by the end of September 2024.

Gibson will be succeeded by current interim Chief Executive Stella David, who may take over boardroom leadership duties earlier depending on the timing of the appointment of a permanent Group CEO.

The announcement sees Gibson end his four-year tenure as Chairman of Entain. Gibson was appointed Chairman in February 2020 and played an integral role in the FTSE100 firm’s transformation from GVC Holdings to Entain Plc.

As Chairman, Gibson oversaw the transformation of Entain’s Board to help the company launch the global CSR Entain Foundation across key markets and securing new executive directors to support the launch of the North American joint-venture BetMGM with partner MGM Resorts.

Gibson concludes his chairmanship having guided Entain through the resolution of the HMRC investigation into the legacy Turkish-facing operations of GVC Holdings, reaching a £600m settlement with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The costly settlement, which saw Entain book corporate losses of £900m in 2023, saw Entain declare its focus on operating only in regulated or regulating markets.

Gibson commented on his departure: “It has been a privilege to lead the Board of Entain for the past four years, and while I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at this dynamic, exciting, and innovative business,

I reflected a little while ago that 2024 would be the right time for me to retire. I am delighted that, in Stella, Entain has an exceptional successor who knows the business well and has already proven herself to be a firm hand on the tiller in her role as Interim CEO.”

The Board of Entain continues its search for a CEO, following the resignation of Jette Nygaard-Andersen on 13 December 2023. Succeeding Nygaard-Andersen, the board elected Stella David a non-executive director since 2021 to serve as interim CEO.

David’s extensive experience in guiding Plcs through transitions was underscored having previously served as an independent director to Bacardi, Domino’s Pizza and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

Entering 2024, the board has has established a Capital Allocation Committee to evaluate the FTSE100 firm’s brand portfolio, corporate funding and operating structures, in which David told investors that Entain has “a laser focus” on the recovery of its valuation and Plc status .

David thanked Gibson’s mentorship and the transformation of Entain’s Board: “Barry has been a wonderful mentor and source of wise counsel to so many people during his time as Chair of Entain, and I would like to personally thank him for his unwavering support.

The fact that we now have a solid platform and a clear plan for future growth is due in no small part to his efforts. I am entirely focused on my role as interim CEO as we work to accelerate our operational strategy, and look forward to taking over the baton from Barry in due course.”

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