Entain CEO Steps Down Amid Pressure

December 13, 2023
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Embattled Entain chief executive Jette Nygaard-Andersen has stepped down, effective today.
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Embattled Entain chief executive Jette Nygaard-Andersen has stepped down, effective today (December 13).

The news comes after the London-listed gambling company settled an HM Revenue & Customs investigation into its past Turkish business with an agreement to pay £600m as part of a deferred prosecution agreement, and has come under pressure by investors over a disappointing string of acquisitions.

Board member Stella David will be CEO on an interim basis until a replacement is named, the company said.

Entain shares have declined 43 percent over the past 12 months, while rival Flutter Entertainment shares have risen 9.5 percent and activist American hedge funds have taken positions in the company.

Chairman Barry Gibson credited Nygaard-Andersen with “exceptional leadership during what has been a hugely challenging period”.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the HMRC investigation posed a number of threats to our group,” he said. "As the court last week recognised in approving a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), had the matter not been resolved by way of a DPA, the consequences to the company and all of its stakeholders could have been disproportionate.”

A Financial Times story last week detailed disappointing returns from 11 acquisitions totalling £2bn over her three-year tenure as CEO, coupled with reports of private jet flights to the US and annual meetings in Gibraltar.

The company has a joint venture in the US, BetMGM. 

Nygaard-Andersen said she is planning to move on to other business and career opportunities.

“The resolution of the HMRC investigation into the legacy business, which was sold by a former management team in 2017, offers a clean inflection point for me and for Entain,” she said. "The group is now safe, stable and sustainable."

Gibson said Stella David brings “an intensely commercial leader with a long track record of success across multiple industries.  I am confident that she will quickly help to set us on the path to achieving our strategic aims while we conduct a rigorous search for a permanent CEO."

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