Home > People > Betsson committed to ‘back-on-track’ plan as CFO departs

Betsson committed to ‘back-on-track’ plan as CFO departs

| By iGB Editorial Team
Kaaren Hilsen to become CEO of Telenor Sverige

Betsson has said it remains “well prepared” for the re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market after chief financial officer Kaaren Hilsen opted to leave the company.

Betsson today (Tuesday) announced that Hilsen (pictured) has decided to return to the telecommunications industry to take up the role of CEO of Telenor Sverige.

Hilsen’s notice period is six months and Betsson said it will immediately begin the process of recruiting a new CFO.

Betsson CEO Pontus Lindwall said: “I want to thank Kaaren for her contribution to getting Betsson back on track. I respect that she received an offer she could not refuse and wish her all the best for the future.

“Betsson is a stronger company than it was a year ago and I'm sure we will soon recruit a new CFO who wants to take part in taking Betsson to the next level.”

In July, Betsson reported widespread financial growth for the first half of 2018, but warned that it will “still take time” until it can report sustainable improvements.

Group revenue amounted to SEK2.56bn (€248.1m/$288.4m) in the six months to June 30, up 12% on the same period last year. At the time, Lindwall said that there was still work to be done as the company continues to follow its ‘back-on-track’ plan.

A Betsson spokeswoman today told iGamingBusiness.com that Hilsen’s departure will not impact the back-on-track plan, adding that the company remains in a strong position ahead of an impending overhaul of the Swedish betting market.

Household names such as Betsson and Svenska Spel were among 22 companies that applied for Sweden’s new gambling licences on the first day of submissions last month.

More than 1,500 documents were filed with regulator Lotteriinspektionen on August 1 by the operators eager to be ready for go when Sweden’s gambling market is opened up in January 2019.

The Betsson spokeswoman added: “Betsson applied for licences on August 1 and the operation is well prepared for the re-regulation in Sweden.”

In other news, Betsson has opted to take control of a sponsorship deal with the Champions Hockey League (CHL) that was previously held by subsidiary NordicBet.

In May 2017, NordicBet renewed its sponsorship deal with the pan-European club ice hockey competition. The extended agreement was set to run from the 2017-18 season through to the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

Betsson will now become the new exclusive betting partner of the league. The move comes after Betsson last week signed up as the new main sponsor and exclusive betting partner to the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).

Besides digital and physical exposure of the Betsson brand, the CHL agreement also includes the ability to create exclusive content around the games. In addition to financial support for the league, Betsson said the ambition of the sponsorship is to build bridges between the Swedish and international hockey leagues.

Peter Zäll, chief strategy officer at Betsson, said: “To see the Swedish and Finnish top teams facing competition from some of the other European teams is exciting and good for hockey. It is also exciting for us and further proof to a goal of being hockey’s top betting operator in Europe.”

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