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Entain makes board changes following CEO departure

| By Richard Mulligan
Entain has announced a boardroom reshuffle in the wake of last week’s departure of CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen.
Entain board changes

The gambling group, whose brands include Ladbrokes and Coral, announced last week that non-executive director Stella David would become interim chief executive with immediate effect following Nygaard-Andersen’s departure.

David’s switch into her new role has led to a series of changes in the boardroom and within board committees. Among these, Entain has appointed board member Pierre Bouchut as senior independent director, replacing David.

Virginia McDowell is appointed as chair of the Remuneration Committee, with group chair Barry Gibson now also chair of the People and Governance Committee. Finally, Rahul Welde has been appointed as a member of the People and Governance Committee.

Bouchut joined Entain’s board in 2018 as a non-executive director. He has more than 40 years of experience in senior management roles across finance, European retail and European property.

Entain chair Gibson said Pierre’s experience and knowledge makes him an ideal candidate for David’s former position.

“On behalf of the board, I am delighted that Pierre has agreed to take on the role of senior independent director to replace Stella,” he said. “His extensive board experience and knowledge of the company makes him ideally placed for the role of senior independent director.

“I am also grateful to Virginia and Rahul that they have agreed to take on these additional responsibilities.”

Entain expected to appoint BetMGM sceptic

Meanwhile, Entain is expected to soon add Ricky Sandler of investment firm Eminence Capital to its board in response to its targeting by activists this year.

Sandler has previously called on Entain to sell all or part of its BetMGM joint venture with MGM Resorts.

Sandler, founder of Eminence Capital, is expected to be added to the board by the end of the month, according to a Sunday Times report on Saturday, which cited people familiar with the matter.

Nygaard-Andersen exits after CPS resolution

Nygaard-Andersen’s resignation came days after Entain resolved a case with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in reference to historic activities in Turkey.

The terms saw Entain agree to pay a £585.5m (€679.0m/$740.8m) financial penalty, as well as a £20m charitable donation and £10m to HMRC and CPS costs.

Referencing Nygaard-Andersen’s departure, Gibson said she played a significant role in the resolution of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA).

“She has offered exceptional leadership during what has been a hugely challenging period,” Gibson said. “It is no exaggeration to say that the HMRC investigation posed a number of threats to our group.

“We are all indebted to Jette for her dedication to steering the company through such a difficult time.”

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