News | Published September 08 2019

Bookmaker William Hill announces CEO switch

Betting giant William Hill has announced that its chief digital officer Ulrik Bengtsson is set to replace the outgoing Philip Bowcock as chief-executive.

Bengtsson, who joined William Hill in April last year, will assume his new duties on September 30. He has previous experience running gambling firms with Swedish online gaming platform, Betsson.

William Hill say that the change at the top is part of the firm’s wider strategy to “become a digitally led and internationally diverse gambling company”.

Bowcock, who has been at the helm since March 2017, will remain with the firm until the end of the year to help oversee the transition.

William Hill chairman Roger Devlin said: “Having overseen the group’s digital operations for 18 months [Bengtsson] 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”.

The announcement comes at a time when the firm is looking to expand internationally amid turmoil in its UK high street business.

The bookmaker announced back in July that it could close around 700 of its high street betting shops amid a “significant fall” in revenue, now thought to have cost the company close to £1 billion.

These losses came after the UK government introduced caps on the maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals in April 2019.

This triggered losses of around £64 million for William Hill in the first half of 2019, coinciding with a decrease in online profits.

As part of its strategy, the company has already rolled out in the US following the reversal of a sports betting ban back in 2018.

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Authored by

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
September 08 2019

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