New online gambling boss for William Hill, Ulrik Bengtsson, the company’s third chief executive in five years.
There’s no need to grease the gears of a finely tuned machine.
When operating at full capacity, you leave well enough alone.
However, when those gears are grinding, and output is isn’t what it
should be, it’s time to get out a the wrench and a bottle of handy
oil, and make the appropriate adjustments. That sure seems to be the
case at William Hill, Plc.
There’s a new
head honcho at the London-based bookmaker, and there’s a
heavy burden upon his shoulders. Through previous actions alone, the
company board has made it abundantly clear that if their new
executive in chief doesn’t turn things around, he’ll be joining the
team’s last two quarterbacks on the proverbial bench.
New Online Gambling Boss the 3rd in 5 Years
This morning, William Hill announced that its current leader, Philip Bowcock, is stepping down. He will be leaving behind his titles of Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Company, effective September 30, 2019. In the meantime, his replacement, Ulrik Bengtsson, is preparing to step into the role.
The board of directors feels Bengtsson is a perfect fit for the
company’s new strategic focus. He has more than a decade worth of
executive level experience, including 10 years as CEO of various
digital entertainment groups before spending the last 18 months as
William Hill’s Chief Digital Officer. Fortunately for him, as the
board began its quest for a new boss, the company’s strategy was
shifting to a “digitally led and internationally diverse” brand.
Ulrik Bengtsson Thoroughly Qualified for the Job
Following years worth of progressive sales experience, Bengtsson
began his executive career in 2004 as the CEO of Stockholm-based
Viasat Sweden, a Pay TV broadcasting company that was, at the time,
owned by Modern Times Group (MTG). A few years later, he was promoted
to CEO of the parent MTG firm.
In mid 2011, Bengtsson left the satellite television industry to
head up a new type of digital entertain group; an online gambling
firm known as Betsson. He held the position of CEO from 2012 to 2017,
when he was promoted to CEO and President of Betsson AB.
William Hill saw the potential in Bengtsson and scooped him up as
their Chief Digital Officer in April of 2018. Now, he will combine
his digital gaming expertise with proven leadership skills to lift
William Hill back to its former glory. At least, that’s the plan. But
then again, that’s been the plan for quite a few years now…
Out with the Old – Again
Bengtsson is replacing Philip Bowcock, who led William Hill
through a time the UK Gambling Commission found the company to be in
violation of social responsibility and anti-money laundering
regulations. William Hill was found guilty of systematic failings
that went on for almost two years, resulting in a costly £6.2
Bowcock came aboard in late 2015 as CFO, having no former
experience in the online gambling industry. And yet the company saw
it fitting to put him in the boss’s chair upon the dismissal of
then-CEO James Henderson, who was extracted for failure to produce
growth in the brand’s online and international markets.
Bengtsson has a huge role cut out for him now. The British government just reduced max bets on fixed odds betting terminal to £2; a situation that’s virtually guaranteed to diminish retail market revenue. But with its new strategy determined, the board has faith in their decision.
“The Board is pleased to appoint Ulrik to the role. Having overseen the Group’s digital operations for 18 months, he knows the business well and is ideally suited to lead our next phase of growth. Ulrik has deep understanding in digital and has the international and sector experience we need to deliver on our strategy. His appointment will provide continuity, stability and operational digital leadership as we deliver on the strategy we have set.”
“I am delighted to be taking on the CEO role at such an exciting time for William Hill”. and look forward to working with the team to deliver our strategy. We have a great opportunity to build William Hill as a digital and international business by driving Online growth in the UK and internationally, growing a scale US business, remodelling Retail and delivering our Nobody Harmed ambition.”
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