Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., a slot machine manufacturer out of Australia, has announced that its chairman, Ian Blackburne, will step down in 2019. His last day will be February 21, which coincides with the company’s annual general meeting, and he will be replaced by former Virgin Australia board chairman Neil Chatfield, who currently services on the board as a non-executive director. The company made its announcement to the Australia Securities Exchange (ASE) this past Tuesday, indicating that it part of the board’s “ongoing renewal and succession process.”
Blackburne has been on the board since 2009. In a prepared statement to the ASE, he asserted, “By every measure, the company has transformed over that period, and I am very gratified that it is now widely considered to be a global leader in land-based gaming and an emerging leader within the dynamic and fast growing social digital industry.”
He added that it had been “a great privilege to have worked with an exceptional board, and many high quality executives, during almost ten years at Aristocrat.”
He said of Chatfield, “I am also delighted to have an individual of Neil’s calibre succeed me as chairman. Neil’s depth of experience across some of Australia’s most successful and dynamic growth companies will be extremely valuable to the board, and broader organisation, going forward.”
Chatfield, who was first nominated for appointment to the board in December of last year, was formally appointed this past February. He said of his new role, “I am honoured to be endorsed by my colleagues, and appointed to succeed Ian as chairman of the Aristocrat board. I look forward to working closely with my fellow directors, and the management team, to ensure we continue to unlock Aristocrat’s exciting growth opportunities across both land-based and digital markets globally.”
Aristocrat appointed a new CEO to the company in March of last year. Trevor Croker replaced Jamie Odell, who had been with the company for eight years, on March 1, 2017. At the time, Croker was reportedly going to be based out of the United States and not Australia, due to the large customer base the company maintains there.