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888 appoints non-executive directors following William Hill deal

| By Robert Fletcher
888 has announced the appointment of Andrea Gisle Joosen, Andria Vidler and Randy Freer as independent non-executive directors, while the operator also revealed it intends to add Ori Shaked to its board.

Joosen has experience in leadership positions across a number of international technology and consumer industries companies, including chief executive of Boxer TV Sweden and as managing director of Nordics for Panasonic, Chantelle Group and Twentieth Century Fox.

She has served as a non-executive director with businesses such as William Hill-owned Mr Green and is currently a non-executive director with Currys in the UK and Billerud AB in Sweden.

Vidler has 30 years’ experience in marketing and technology and has served as the CEO of independent end-to-end creative production partner Tag EMEA since 2020.

Prior to this, Vidler spent six years as CEO of Centaur Media, as well as four years as CEO for EMI Music UK and Ireland. She also held senior roles at Bauer Media and at the BBC and was a non-executive director for Gamesys, where she chaired the ESG committee. 

Freer is CEO of The Freer Company, which provides business vision and brand narrative advice, prior to which he was CEO of American subscription streaming service Hulu.

Earlier in his career, Freer led 21st Century Fox’s global entertainment and sports television assets, while as president and chief operating officer of the Fox Networks Group, he served on the Hulu, National Geographic and Big Ten Network.

Shaked, a gaming entrepreneur and experienced game producer, was previously employed by the group until 2017 as a game producer, online marketer and business development manager. He now acts as an early-stage investor in gaming and blockchain start-ups.

The appointment of Shaked has been requested by Sinitus Nominees Limited, the largest shareholder in 888, which has the right to appoint a non-executive director. 888 will make a further announcement in respect of this matter in due course.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome three outstanding candidates in Andrea, Andria and Randy to the board of 888,” 888 non-executive chairman Lord Mendelsohn said. “As well as further strengthening the group’s corporate governance structure, they each bring extensive and highly relevant skills and experience to our board which will be of significant benefit to the group as it delivers its long-term strategic objectives as an enlarged business post the completion of our acquisition of William Hill.

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

The appointments come after 888 last week completed its acquisition of William Hill’s non-US assets from Caesars for £1.95bn.

888 had initially agreed in September 2021 to acquire the non-US business of William Hill. This came soon after US operator Caesars acquired the entire William Hill business for approximately £2.90bn, with the intent to dispose of all but its US assets.

Originally, the purchase price for the deal was £2.2bn. However, 888 and Caesars agreed to reduce the purchase price to acquire the assets by £250m, with the cash portion of the deal now set at £584.9m instead of £834.9m.

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