John Kelly appointed new Ladbrokes chairman ahead of Coral merger

Peter Erskine

John Kelly has been appointed chairman of Ladbrokes after Peter Erskine stepped down from the Board on 3 December in anticipation of the proposed merger with Coral. Kelly is a former chairman and CEO of Gala Coral and will be the Chairman of the combined organisation.

Erskine announced his intention to step down earlier this year and decided now was the tim ehaving delivered a successful shareholder vote for the proposed merger with the Coral Group.

Kelly said: “It is a great honour to take on the role of Chairman of Ladbrokes at such an exciting time in the Company’s history.  We have an aggressive organic plan for growth under our new Chief Executive, Jim Mullen, and are working hard towards the proposed merger with Coral Group.  While there has been much to do, the Board and the executive team are focused on delivering for shareholders and I remain confident in the direction and momentum in the business.

“Peter has worked extremely hard to steer the business through a much needed modernisation and had to help the business face up to some very significant challenges.  Peter’s commitment and endeavour has been crucial to getting the business to a point where we have two strong options open to us for growing the business.”

In addition Ladbrokes has also appointed Mark Pain as a Non-Executive Director and chairman of the Audit Committee, a role he will retain in the proposed merged entity of Ladbrokes Coral Plc.

Pain is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is Chairman and a non-executive of London Square Developments Limited, Senior Independent Director of Johnston Press Plc and is a Non Executive Director at Yorkshire Building Society and Aviva Insurance Ltd. He also serves as a Trustee of Somerset House. Mark held a number of senior executive and board positions (including Group Finance Director) at Abbey National plc (1989 – 2005) and was Group Finance Director of Barratt Developments PLC (2006 – 2009). He was a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of LSL Property Services plc (2009 – 2013), Punch Taverns plc (2007 – 2012) and Spirit Pub Group plc (2012 – 2015).

Kelly’s role also sees him appointed chair of the Nomination Committee, appointed as a member of the Remuneration Committee and ceased to be a member of the Audit and Social Responsibility Committees.

The consequence of this is that former Trinity Mirror boss Sly Bailey has been appointed as chair of the Social Responsibility Committee.

Ladbrokes said a search is underway for additional non-executive directors to join the Board prior to completion of the merger with the Coral Group. The search parameters include identifying a replacement Senior Independent Director. In the interim period, Christine Hodgson has agreed to serve as Senior Independent Director

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