Online gambling operator LeoVegas has announced that Mårten Forste, currently its chairman of the board, is to become its new chief operating officer.
Beginning his new role on 3 February, Forste will take overarching responsibility for operations at the LeoVegas offices in Malta. He replaces Richard Woodbridge, who has accepted a job offer in another industry and will leave LeoVegas at the end of May.
Forste will remain as chairman until the Annual General Meeting in May, when a new chair will be proposed by the Nomination Committee. He has served as the operator’s chair for the past three years and been on the board since 2012.
Prior to his time with LeoVegas, Forste has a spell as COO of Match Group, which includes the brands Match, Meetic and Tinder. Forste also has 12 years’ of experience from the gaming industry, working in a number of operational roles.
“The gaming market is dynamic, and I am convinced that we are in the best possible place to further strengthen our position as market leader in the casino segment,” Forste said.
“I look forward to working further on the course charted by the management team, creating shareholder value and continuing to take market shares by delivering a safe, sustainable and entertaining customer experience.”
LeoVegas group chief executive Gustaf Hagman added: “It is truly unfortunate to lose such an ambitious and talented person as Richard Woodbridge. He is highly appreciated in the company, and I wish him success in the future.
“Mårten is the perfect successor, as he has been with LeoVegas from the start and is a strong contributing force behind our strategy and operations. He has good knowledge about all parts of LeoVegas and our culture, and he knows what we need to do to further develop the company and be ‘King of Casino’.”
The appointment comes after LeoVegas earlier this month announced that it was to withdraw its Royal Panda brand from the UK market. Royal Panda will cease UK operations at 9am on 31 January, with customers able to access their account and withdraw funds prior to this date.