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888 names Lord Mendelsohn as chair designate

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Sports betting and igaming operator 888 has appointed Lord Jon Mendelsohn, former director of general election resources for the Labour Party, as its chair designate and a non-executive director with immediate effect.

He will succeed Brian Mattingley as chair of 888’s board, with the latter set to stand down from the role at the operator’s next annual general meeting in May 2021.

The appointment, which followed an extensive search by the board nominations committee, will also see Mendelsohn join the remuneration and audit committees.

Lord Mendelsohn has more than 20 years’ experience of the gambling industry, having co-founded Oakvale Capital, an M&A and strategic advisory boutique that focuses on the gaming, gambling and sports sector.

He co-founded LLM Communications, a corporate and public affairs consultancy that was acquired by finalcial PR agency Financial Dynamics in 2005.

Lord Mendelsohn also served as a managing director and later as chairman of the Global Issues Division, which was later acquired by FTI Consulting, and as a senior adviser to Value Retail, a developer and operator of luxury outlet shopping villages.

In addition, he was appointed as director of general election resources for the Labour party in 2007 and is a Labour life peer, who has sat in the House of Lords since October 2013, sitting on the International Relations and Defence Committee.

“888 is a company that I have long admired during my more than 20 years working with companies in the gaming and gambling industries,” Lord Mendelsohn said.

“The group has a number of very exciting opportunities and I am looking forward to working closely with the board and the management team to continue to deliver the group’s growth strategy and generate further stakeholder value.”

Outgoing non-executive chairman Mattingley added: “It has been a great privilege to chair 888 and serve its stakeholders during more than 15 years with the group.

“I am personally very pleased that someone of Lord Mendelsohn’s experience and calibre will succeed me as chair and I look forward to working closely with him over the coming months.”

The appointment comes after 888 earlier this month also named Yariv Dafna as its new chief financial officer. Dafna replaced Aviad Kobrine, who announced his departure from the operator in January.

888 is due to announce its results for the first half of the year on 30 September.

In June, 888 said it expects to post higher-than-forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for 2020, mainly due to a structural shift towards online services and growth in poker amid the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

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