The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced the appointment of Nick Rust, former Retail Director of Ladbrokes as new Chief Executive Officer.
Rust will replace outgoing CEO Paul Bittar, who ends a three year tenure at the helm of BHA.
Rust has been involved in the racing and the betting industry since 1987, having served in numerous senior management positions for Ladbrokes retail betting division. He has further consulted gambling operators Gala Coral and BskyB on sports betting matters.
Rust said in a statement: “Given my lifelong passion for British racing, I am thrilled and honoured to be taking up the role of chief executive at BHA.
“Racing is a huge sport, and critical to many areas of the economy. It has many exciting opportunities ahead and I know that the racing industry can grasp these. I look forward to working with the new board, and the wider team, as well as our many stakeholders, to build on what has already been achieved across racing and by Paul and his team
BHA chairman Steve Harman said: “We are delighted to have appointed Nick. The quality of candidates was amongst the highest I have ever seen for any CEO position, with a range of senior leaders from the UK business, consumer and leisure industries. Nick impressed us all the way through the process.
“He has been an avid racing fan since childhood, has an impressive track record in his business life, and a great understanding of the opportunities for the sport.
“Those that know Nick know that he has a natural and collaborative leadership style with staff and stakeholders alike, a good blend of humility and desire to get things done. He is comfortable from ‘stable to boardroom’ and understands how pivotal this sport is to jobs and UK PLC.
“He understands the priorities and opportunities well and I know that he will build on the platform developed by Paul Bittar and the BHA team, and be a highly effective and popular leader.”