UK-listed gambling operator Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) has appointed new CEOs for Europe and Australia, just days after the company’s new group CEO took control.
On Wednesday, PPB announced that it had named Dan Taylor as CEO of its European operations (a newly created role), responsible for both Paddy Power and Betfair brands across all channels and geographies outside the United States. Taylor previously served as managing director of PPB’s UK & Ireland operations, and before that managed Paddy Power’s retail operations.
Barni Evans has been named new CEO of Sportsbet, PPB’s Australian online betting division. Evans transitions from his previous role as Sportsbet’s chief commercial officer and replaces Cormac Barry, who is leaving for a position outside of the gambling industry. Barry has agreed to stay on for the next few months to ensure an orderly transition of power.
Both Taylor and Evans will report to PPB group CEO Peter Jackson (pictured), who officially assumed the comfy corner office on Monday from outgoing CEO Breon Corcoran. Jackson will direct PPB’s operations from Paddy Power’s Dublin HQ.
Morgan Stanley analyst Ed Young didn’t roll out the welcome wagon for Jackson, issuing a note on Monday suggesting PPB’s “premium valuation” could tumble due to the “major strategic issues” facing the company. PPB’s shares dipped nearly 3% on Monday and fell a further 4% on Wednesday after stating a minor recovery on Tuesday.
PPB’s most recent quarterly earnings report showed a strong performance by Sportsbet but overall online revenue declined 3% year-on-year. Morgan Stanley’s Young warned that the market’s expectation of significant online growth following the post-merger fusion of Paddy Power and Betfair’s operations onto a single platform “may not materialize.”
The overall UK gambling market is facing retrenchment on all fronts, including increasingly strict oversight of online operations, while retail operations face reductions in maximum wagers on fixed-odds betting terminals. The latter change will affect PPB less than some of its rivals, which have a much larger retail presence. Regardless, Jackson has his work cut out for him.