Management

Sazka makes new hires to support UK National Lottery bid

3 minutes read
Pan-European lottery and gaming giant Sazka Group has made a number of new appointments as it builds a team to bid for the fourth UK National Lottery licence.

Sazka last month said it would bid for the licence and will now compete against the likes of incumbent Camelot and Indian lottery operator and technology provider Sugal & Damani, both of which have also put forward bids for the tender.

To support this effort, Sazka has added four new UK-focused staff to its team, including Emma Young as transition lead.

Young will assume responsibility for leading the transition and exit plan as part of the tender process, reporting directly to operations and technology stream leader Tony Khatskevich.

Her previous roles include serving as an advisor at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and also head of telecommunications services at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee.

Meanwhile, Gerry Walsh has been brought in to serve as Sazka’s supply chain management area lead in London. He will be responsible for designing and developing Sazka’s future supply chain and procurement strategy, as well as its implementation.

Walsh previously spent time as chief executive of The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply and as procurement director at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sazka has also appointed Rob Clarke as organisation leader for the bid, a role in which he will oversee human resources and organisation in the UK for the group.

Clarke has over 25 years’ of HR experience in fast-moving consumer goods, retail and major sport events, including Safeway, Carlsberg and MFI Retail. He has had spells as an HR advisor for IOC and as an advisor to the HR director in Expo Dubai, 2020.

In addition, Sazka has brought in Steve James as its network area lead for the bid in the UK. He will be responsible for the design of all related data communication networks and definition of solutions suitable for the future group’s operations.

James, who will also report to Khatskevich, has expertise in the implementation and operation of telecoms networks and services, having worked on projects for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and also served as a technology advisor to the IOC.

Meanwhile, it has also been revealed that Sir Keith Mills, the entrepreneur who invented the Air Miles and Nectar Card reward points schemes in the UK, will acquire a stake in Sazka if it succeeds with its National Lottery bid.

Mills told the Evening Standard newspaper that he would purchase a minority stake in the group should it secure the licence.

Earlier this month, Sazka appointed Mills as chair for its bid.

The tender process is to run for most of 2021, with the winning bid expected to be announced in September of that year.

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