Gala Coral has hired a new CEO to replace outgoing top dog Neil Goulden. Carl Leaver, formerly director at UK retailer Marks & Spencer, will assume the CEO mantle. The company is also bringing a new non-executive chairman, Rob Templeman, current chief exec at Debenhams. That’s two key appointments from two different non-gaming retail chains. Seems after the turbulent year that Gala’s been through, they’re looking for something staid and stable.
After its debts spiraled out of control, Gala Coral was acquired in January by an array of private equity firms, including Cerberus, Apollo, Park Square and York Capital Management. The firm underwent a rigorous restructuring that prompted the exit of CEO Dominic Harrison in July, requiring chairman Goulden to take the CEO reins until a permanent replacement could be found.
With that task accomplished, Goulden will be leaving the company in January after a 10-year stint, although he will be retained as a consultant for a further three years. Gala is the third major UK bookmaker in the last two years to hand out new keys to the executive washroom, following the lead of Ladbrokes and William Hill.