888 bolsters post-Hills acquisition leadership with new NED appointments

888 Holdings has confirmed the appointment of three Non-Executive Directors (NEDs), as the firm looks to consolidate its position following the completed takeover of William Hill.

The international gambling group announced this morning that Andrea Gisle Joosen, Andria Vidler and Randy Freer would join the Board as Independent NEDs, each having accumulated experience across a range of sectors. 

In the aftermath of the merger, 888 has been pursuing a leadership shakeup, as William Hill’s non-US assets, in addition to Mr Green, are integrated into the group’s suite of holdings, sitting alongside the 888sport, 888casino, 888poker and SI Sportsbook brands.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome three outstanding candidates in Andrea, Andria and Randy to the Board of 888,” said Lord Mendelsohn, Non-Executive Chairman, 888 Holdings. 

“As well as further strengthening the group’s corporate governance structure, they each bring extensive and highly relevant skills and experience to our Board which will be of significant benefit to the group as it delivers its long-term strategic objectives as an enlarged business post the completion of our acquisition of William Hill.”

Gisle Joosen’s experience in igaming has seen her serve as an NED at Mr Green prior to its acquisition by William Hill in 2018, whilst additional roles have included Chair of Acast AB and NED at ICA Gruppen, James Hardie Industries

The new hire has previously worked as CEO of Boxer TV Sweden and Managing Director of Nordics for Panasonic, Chantelle Group, and 20th Century Fox, and she is currently an NED for Currys in the UK and Billerud AB in Sweden.

Meanwhile, Vilder’s 30 years marketing and technology experience has included a tenure as CEO of Tag EMEA – a position held since 2020 – and six years as CEO of Centaur Media.

Additional roles have included a four year term as EMI Music UK and Ireland CEO and senior positions at the BBC and Bauer Media. Her knowledge of the betting and gaming space has been gained as a non-executive for Gamesys.

Lastly, former Hulu CEO Freer is the current Chief Executive of business vision and brand narrative advisory The Freer Company – prior to these endeavours, Freer was COO of Fox Networks Group, a position he also held at National eographic and Big Ten Network.

888’s reorganisation of its boardroom has so far seen CFO Yariv Dafna head a C-level team of Vaughan Lewis (Chief Strategy Officer), Guy Cohen (Chief Operations Officer) (COO) and Naama Kushnir (Chief Transformation Officer).

William Hill executives joining 888 include Mark Skinner (Chief People Officer), Phil Walker (UK Managing Director), Satty Bhens (Chief Technology and Product Officer). The combined 888/William Hill entity as a whole will continue to be led by Itai Pazner as CEO.

“888 has a number of very exciting opportunities ahead and I am looking forward to working closely with our strengthened Board to continue to deliver the Group’s growth strategy and generate further stakeholder value,” Mendelsohn continued. 

Although stating that the merger would create a global online betting and gaming leader in the run up to the transaction finalisation, the development has posed some hurdles to 888 in addition to opportunities for growth. 

A notable challenge relates to the £1bn bond the company acquired in order to support the £1.9bn purchase of William Hill International’s non-US assets from Caesars Entertainment.

According to reports this week, the investment banks which underwrote the LSE-listed group’s bond – JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley – are struggling to secure investors.

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