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Zeal names Bielski as new group CFO

| By Robert Fletcher
German online lottery operator Zeal Group has appointed Sebastian Bielski as its new group chief financial officer.
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Bielski will oversee finance, investor relations and all matters relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG). His term as CFO will last an initial three years, beginning 1 October, and will also see him sit on Zeal’s management board.

He replaces Jonas Mattsson, who chose not to extend his mandate beyond his current term after eight years as CFO. Mattsson is leaving the business to spend more time with his family. He will officially step down on 30 September.

Mattsson is also CFO of the Lotto24 business and will be replaced in this position by Andrea Behrendt, initially until March next year. Behrendt is currently vice-president for group controlling at Zeal.

Bielski brings skills from various markets 

Bielski joins Zeal from solar power business Energiekonzepte Deutschland, where he has been CFO since December 2022.

Prior to this, Bielski had a seven-year spell as CFO at German loan portal Smava. He also spent time in senior positions, including chief strategy officer, with delivery platform Delivery Hero.

In addition, Bielski worked in the banking sector for both Goldman Sachs and Archer Capital.

“I would like to thank the board of Zeal for placing their trust in me,” Bielski said. “I am looking forward to taking on my new responsibilities and working together with the very ambitious board team.”

CEO Helmut Becker added: “I am looking forward to working with Sebastian. With his capital market expertise and broad experience in building high-growth businesses, he is a perfect fit for Zeal who can support us with our ambitious growth agenda.”

Recognising the work of Mattsson

Becker also paid tribute to the outgoing Mattsson. He said: “On behalf of the entire board, I would like to extend my gratitude and best wishes to Jonas for his outstanding contributions and his dedication to our company. 

“Jonas and his team have provided the financial foundation for the successful changes we have implemented in the past eight years, which ultimately allowed us to reach our strong position today as the leading ecommerce company defining the future of lottery. 

“While we are sorry having to say goodbye to a highly valued member of our board, we fully understand his reasons and wish him and his family all the best for the future.”

Mixed first half for Zeal

The change in CFO comes after Zeal last week posted its first-half results. Revenue was up 11% but a rise in marketing spend ate into its earnings.

The operator highlighted the impact of a series of campaigns in high jackpot phases as driving the business’ customer acquisition and subsequent revenue during the period.

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