Henry Birch to succeed Ian Burke as Rank Group CEO in a move that will see the former leader move into the new position of non-executive director.
The Rank Group Plc. has announced a new shake up at the top of the food chain, as Henry Birch is set to replace Ian Burke at the summit of the company with effect from May 6.
Birch, 57, is currently a non-executive director of the AIM-listed CFD trading platform operator, PLUS 500 PLC, and has vast experience in the gambling industry with stints as the CEO at Leisure & Gaming plc. COO of Bettingcorp Ltd, and a four-year stay as CEO of William Hill Online, during the time that William Hill and Playtech were joined at the hip.
Prior to working in the gambling industry Birch held roles in the House of Commons, Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting and Riffage.
The former incumbent Burke had been the CEO for eight years, but the year had not gotten off to a great start with reports of a 23% fall in first half profits in because of falling numbers in its bingo halls.
It’s believed that Burke will slip into his new role as non-executive director of his own accord.
The 2014 UK Budget did throw some good news the way of Rank when it decided to half bingo tax from 20% to 10%, prompting The Rank Group to declare its intention to open a further three UK bingo halls.
Now that sounds like a nice little project for Birch to cut his teeth on.
“With his track record in the online betting and gaming sector, the Rank board believes that Henry is well-equipped to lead Rank’s continued exploitation of growth opportunities in the gaming and leisure markets,” the company said.