William Hill has confirmed that Chief Executive Ralph Topping will be staying with the company for at least three more Christmases. The rewards he may reap over the next two-and-a-half years could be a deal more lucrative than anything he may receive over the holiday season. This is because one of the agreements in place is that the 60-year-old’s salary of £600,000 “may progress to levels around the upper quartile of the market over time.” We’re imagining that this means he’s getting some more wonga. At least chairman Gareth Davis was here to explain.
“These changes are intended to move Mr Topping’s salary from below competitive market levels to reflect more closely Ralph’s unique individual experience and profile, and his criticality to the Group during the continuing transition of William Hill into a leading international betting and gaming business,” he said.
“The Board is committed to ensuring a smooth transition for the Chief Executive position at the appropriate time and this agreement provides important certainty as we develop our succession plans,” the chairman added.
Topping will stay on as chief executive until 31 December 2013 and carry on a relationship with the company that’s lasted all of 40 years. He commented, “We have made exceptional progress in the transformation of William Hill during the last three years. There are significant further opportunities ahead of us and I am pleased to have been asked by the Board to continue leading the business at this crucial time in William Hill’s growth and development.”
In addition to the earlier mentioned salary amendments, Topping has been given a special one-off retention award of 552,995 shares in the company. The only thing for Hills now is to rename the company Ralph Topping and construct the obligatory statue.