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Playtech ends long chair hunt with raid on 888 boss

Written by on 02/03/2021

Playtech, the gambling software developer, will this week end one of the longest boardroom searches in recent corporate history when it announces that it has raided a rival industry player for its new chairman.

Sky News has learnt that Playtech will announce that Brian Mattingley has agreed to become the long-term successor to Alan Jackson, who said he was stepping down almost two years ago.

Mr Mattingley will join from 888 Holdings, the online gambling group, where he has spent 15 years on the board.

Image: 888 is an online-only gambling operator

The recruitment of an experienced industry figure is likely to please Playtech shareholders, ten months after Claire Milne was installed in the role on an interim basis.

People close to Playtech pointed out that the search for a permanent chair had been paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with one investor suggesting that Mr Mattingley was “not an unexpected choice”.

Playtech’s shares have performed strongly over the last year, almost doubling to give the company a market capitalisation of almost £1.5bn.

However, the company has been beset by corporate governance concerns for years and has found itself embroiled in a string of rows over boardroom pay.

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In a recent trading update, it hailed its entry to the key US market alongside ongoing talks to sell its financials division, Finalto, for up to $200m.

It plans to announce its annual results next week.

Neither Playtech nor 888 would comment on Tuesday.

 Sky News

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