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Hofbauer to exit as CEO of Svenska Spel

| By Robert Fletcher
Swedish state-owned gambling operator Svenska Spel has announced that Patrik Hofbauer is to step down as its president and chief executive early next year.
Svenska Spel CEO Hofbauer

Hofbauer has overseen operations at Svenska Spel for almost five years, having been with the business since December 2018. He is leaving to take on the position of president and CEO at Swedish telecommunications company Telia Company.

Hofbauer will officially leave Svenska Spel on 31 January next year. He will begin his new role at Telia Company the following day.

Svenska Spel says it has already launched a search to recruit and appoint a replacement for Hofbauer.

“In recent years, I have had the privilege of leading Svenska Spel,” Hofbauer said. “It has been a fantastic journey together with our customers, partners and, not least, employees. It is not an easy decision to change roles or leave a company that I value so deeply. 

“With a strong culture, a clear values compass and enormously committed employees and leaders, Svenska Spel is in a position to continue delivering value for our customers, Sweden and the Swedish sports movement.”

Svenska Spel chairman Erik Strand added: “Through his solid knowledge, great commitment and brilliant leadership qualities, Patrik Hofbauer has successfully led Svenska Spel for some time through major changes for the company.  Svenska Spel is today a modern company that delivers sustainable gaming experiences. 

“Patrik’s personal leadership has navigated Svenska Spel through the reregulation of the gaming market in 2019 and he, together with the board and his team, has set a clear future agenda and strategy. 

“Patrik is a person and company leader who makes a real difference. On behalf of the board, I’d like to extend a warm and big thank you for his valuable contribution.”

Hofbauer: the journey to Svenska Spel

Hofbauer’s decision to join Telia Company marks his return to the telecommunications sector. Before joining Svenska Spel, Hofbauer spent four and a half years as CEO at Norwegian telco Telenor.

Prior to this, he was senior vice-president and CEO of Telenor Broadcast. Hofbauer also spent time as CEO of the Swedish arm of outdoor advertising giant Clear Channel.

Earlier in his career, Hofbauer also had spells with Canal Digital Sverige and NEC Scandinavia.

Alongside his role at Svenska Spel, Hofbauer serves on several boards. These include Presto Holding, where he is chairman, while he is a board member at Clas Ohlson, NHST Media Group and Svenskt Näringsliv.

Leaving a legacy at Svenska Spel

News of Hofbauer’s departure comes ahead of Svenska Spel posting its Q3 results later this month. During his time as CEO, Svenska Spel has switched a lot of its focus to online activity, with the result of this clear to see in its most recent set of financial results.

During the first half of 2023, net gaming revenue edged up year-on-year to SEK1.97bn (£147.5m/€170.6m/$179.8m). 

The growth came despite online competition eating into the business’ Casino Cosmopol and slot machine segments, which saw revenue fall SEK29m.

Online revenue, on the other hand, grew 9% compared to last year’s quarter, and now makes up the majority (52%) of Svenska Spel’s total revenue.  

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