On the heels of announcing their trading update, GVC Holdings have made big news by announcing the departure of CEO Kenneth Alexander. The operator made the announcement in a July 16 press release.
Alexander, 51 years old, is officially retiring from the organization to spend more time with his family. He spent 13 years in the role of CEO for the company. GVC noted that he will be succeeded by Shay Segev, Chief Operating Officer effective at the end of July 17.
“I have given 13 years to GVC and I now want to give some time to my family,” Alexander wrote. “I have enjoyed every minute of helping to grow GVC into the business that it is today, and am proud of all that has been achieved. We have the best people, brands and technology in our sector, and our joint venture in the U.S. with MGM Resorts positions us very strongly for growth in that hugely exciting market.”
The isolation of COVID-19 helped influence his decision, and he relayed his confidence in Segev. “I have spent the last four months working from home and reflecting on my future plans, and this feels like the right moment,” he noted. “Whilst it is never easy to hand the baton on, it has been very clear for a number of years now that Shay is the right person to succeed me. He is an outstanding leader with a clear strategic vision and unrivalled technological expertise. As a shareholder, I know that our Company will be in good hands. He is also a firm advocate for the strongest possible protection for customers, and shares my philosophy that only a responsible company can be a sustainable and successful company.”
Kenneth signed on as CEO of GVC Holding in 2007, growing it into the company it’s become today. The success of the company saw him compensated handsomely in 2019, which at the time he said he would be committed to GVC “for the long-term.” However, 2019 ended up being a year of big losses for the company due to frantic expansion and regulatory troubles, and the current pandemic couldn’t help much more.
In their trading update, GVC noted that despite the pandemic, online net gaming revenue (NGR) was up 19% for the first half of the year, but overall NGR was down 11%. Specifically in Q2, online NGR was up as much as 22%, which they boasted was due to “the strength and diversification of the Group’s geographic, brand, channel and product offering.” They also noted they expected EBITDA2 to be in the range of £340m-£350m.
Segev has been in the role of COO since March 2016, and the company touts his direct involvement with many of the company’s big projects. “The Board has kept succession plans under constant review, and has been extremely impressed by Shay’s contribution and leadership, said Barry Gibson, Chairman of GVC, “We are very fortunate to have such a well-qualified and natural successor. He has a long track record of leading technology businesses, overseeing complex integration projects, and running large teams at a senior level. Today’s trading update shows just how strong this business is, and we look to the future with confidence under Shay’s leadership.”
Segev appears hungry to start the next chapter of GVC:
“I am hugely honoured to have been given this opportunity by the Board to lead GVC into the next phase of its development. Kenny has been a fantastic colleague and leader during the four years I have worked with him. Thanks to his stewardship I am succeeding him at a time when the business is in robust financial health with an exceptional team and exciting opportunities ahead of it, especially in the U.S. Our strategy will continue to be focused on our industry-leading technology, brands, products, marketing capabilities and people, as well as being absolutely committed to making gambling as safe and enjoyable as possible for our customers around the world.”