Novomatic has appointed Felipe Ludeña to lead its plans for sports betting expansion in European and North American markets.
Ludeña joins the firm from Codere Group, where he had led the sports betting provider’s Spanish Online Business Unit since 2011.
In his new role, he will work with the senior management team at Novomatic to identify and pursue expansion opportunities around the world. He will have a particular focus on building the company’s presence within the European market, as well as the growing legalised sports betting sector in the US.
Novomatic has traditionally focused on Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe and never before operated sports betting services in the US.
Speaking to iGamingBusiness.com about his new role, Ludeña said: “Novomatic has already a strong position especially in the European market, but I think we can improve our position in the market leveraging our scale, international operations and technology.
“We are pursuing an international expansion strategy. On the one hand, we will focus on our strongholds in Europe. And on the other hand, there will be activities in this business segment for the first time in the US.”
Chief executive Harald Neumann also backed Ludeña to take the firm into the US.
Neumann said: “To do this, we need experts with excellent management skills. With Felipe Ludeña, we are looking to play a major role in shaping the sports betting market.”
The new appointment comes on the back of a successful first half for Novomatic, during which sales reached a record €1.37bn (£1.21bn/$1.58bn). This lead to an 11.6% increase in earnings before interest and deductions to €318m.