SAZKA appoints Justin King as National Lottery bid advisor

Justin King (CBE) has become the latest British business figurehead to join SAZKA Group’s bid to ‘refresh and revitalise’ the National Lottery. 

The former Group CEO of Sainsbury’s Plc (2004-2015) will sit on the SAZKA ‘advisory board’ to provide counsel to Sir Keith Mills’ ‘bid team’, which is competing to win the government’s Fourth National Lottery Competition.

King will play a pivotal role in developing SAZKA’s business strategy on how a revamped National Lottery can recover from the unprecedented Covid impacts.

 “The team will draw on his expertise to improve the customer experience, support independent retailers and expand the National Lottery’s product and marketing portfolio,” said SAZKA in a statement.

The Czech conglomerate marked King’s appointment as a major coup in its ambitions to replace Camelot UK as operating company of the National Lottery, a contract Camelot has served since its inception in 1994.

 “Getting people back to their local high street post-Covid-19 requires fresh thinking, an innovative approach, and recognition that the National Lottery can play an integral role in that recovery,” said King.

“I’m teaming up with SAZKA Group to make the National Lottery better. We need to revitalise this precious institution by bringing back those customers that have stopped playing, while making it relevant and exciting for new audiences too. 

“A vibrant and growing lottery is the only way to guarantee more funding for good causes, which is crucial for helping Britain to build back better”.

SAZKA also remarked on King’s expert knowledge of UK retail and its complex supply chains. During his leadership tenure as CEO of Sainsbury’s Plc, King led the turnaround of the supermarket chain’s performance by delivering ‘36 consecutive quarters of sales growth and profit’.

Furthermore, King was praised for revitalising the supermarket’s social responsibility commitments by spearheading a partnership with Comic Relief, where £1 of every £10 shopped was donated to the charity. In recognition of his services to the retail sector, King was awarded a CBE in 2011.

SAZKA Group’s UK Bid Chair Sir Keith Mills added: “With Justin on board, we will present a plan that modernises retail channels to ensure that not a single National Lottery player or retailer is left behind. Justin’s experience will also be of huge benefit for our transition plans which must be submitted to the Gambling Commission as part of our bid.

“Over the next few weeks, I look forward to welcoming more experts to our team, who will help us to share our vision for the National Lottery as the Fourth Licence Competition progresses.”

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