Retail and online to merge for William Hill in latest shake-up

William Hill has revealed that its UK online and retail divisions are due to merge in a move which will see the operator fast-track its recovery in 2021.

Reported by the Racing Post, the firm’s UK online managing director Phil Walker will take responsibility for the single UK market division, while retail division director Nicola Frampton will step down. Both Frampton and Walker are due to work alongside one another for the six month transition period.

Frampton said: “It has been an absolute privilege to lead the retail team at William Hill. Our shops play a vital role in our success and I look forward to working with Phil on a handover plan in the coming months.”

William Hill CEO Ulrik Bengtsson added: “We will be immensely sad to say goodbye to Nicola Frampton when the time comes. Nicola has been with William Hill for ten years and has been a driving force on the executive team as well as being instrumental in reshaping and transforming our retail business.”

To aid recovery in 2021, William Hill is reportedly planning to capitalise on a packed sporting schedule, which will likely include the rescheduled Uefa European Championship.

The merger is the latest strategy rolled out by the bookmaker to mitigate regulatory and economic challenges, with last year’s FOBT ruling resulting in the closure of 713 betting shops.

William Hill also revealed that it had already begun simplifying its operating structures with the phased closure of its Gametek office in Stockholm.

Backing its recovery strategy, this June William Hill completed a £225 million book-build with private investors, raising working capital for its future directives.

In its investor notes, William Hill underlined that its US joint-venture partnerships and accelerated digital momentum would sustain corporate growth, as the company forecasted ‘an expected drop in its retail footprint’.

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