Ladbrokes names digital director Jim Mullen as new CEO

ladbrokes-jim-mullen-corgisUK bookies Ladbrokes have promoted digital director Jim Mullen (pictured) to the CEO role soon to be vacated by Richard Glynn.

Mullen, who was lured over from rivals William Hill in 2013, will assume the CEO mantle effective April 1, the day after Glynn rides off into the sunset. Lads issued a statement praising Mullen for leading the operational transformation of Lads’ much maligned digital offering and for playing nice with Lads’ online technology providers Playtech.

Lads chairman Peter Erskine said the company had conducted “an extensive search” for Glynn’s successor during which “a number of strong external candidates” had been identified. But ultimately the board made the unanimous choice to promote from within, based on Mullen having “won the respect of his colleagues and the confidence of the Board” via the delivery of Lads’ new online product.

Mullen said he was “delighted” with his new CEO designation, plus the annual £500k pay packet and a seat on the board. No replacement has been announced for Mullen’s vacated role of head of digital.

Mullen told Reuters the board had given him “some very clear tasks for growing the business.” Mullen said he already had “an informed view in my mind of what needs to be done, there is not going to be a long pick-up period.”

The markets greeted Mullen’s promotion with a shrug, with the stock essentially flat on Friday at 111.5p. Cenkos Sscurities analyst Simon French warned that Mullen’s appointment signaled “more of the same … when Ladbrokes is in urgent need of radical action.”

Details of Glynn’s golden handshake – including ‘damages’ owed under his service contract – won’t be announced until Glynn has left the building. Glynn has previously come under heavy criticism for pocketing seven-figure bonuses and 85% pay hikes while Lads’ digital division seriously underperformed its rivals.

Meanwhile, Lads’ new deal with marketing agency Kaper to promote its royal baby betting props WAS on full display on Thursday. In conjunction with PR stunt agency Sketch Events, Lads held the “world’s first ever Royal Corgi race” to give punters a guide on what name the royal sprog will eventually be given.

Lots of dogs were in the vying for the Barkingham Palace Gold Cup derby at London’s Bedford Square but the mutt named Alexandra was first to cross the finish line, beating out runner-up Camilla and third-place finisher Elizabeth. Of the non-bitches in the running, Spencer emerged as the favourite.