Ian Brown to lead Flutter UK&I following Conor Grant exit

Flutter Entertainment Plc has confirmed the inbound appointment of Ian Brown as new Chief Executive of its UK-&-Ireland business.

Brown will take the reins at the FTSE100 betting and gaming group in September, replacing outgoing CEO Conor Grant, who will continue to work with the incoming Chief Executive during the transition phase. 

A former CEO of Booking.com’s Trips division and Senior Partner at management consultancy firm Oliver Wyman, Brown’s new foray into C-level global betting management will see him oversee operations at Flutter’s flagship Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Bet and Tombola brands in the UK and Ireland. 

“I have followed the impressive story of Flutter and its brands for many years now, and I am delighted to be joining the UK&I business in September,” the new CEO commented.

“Flutter has a fantastic portfolio of iconic brands and I look forward to helping develop their leadership position in the online entertainment space.”

Outgoing CEO Grant took on a senior role at Flutter two years ago, following the firm’s merger with The Stars Group (TSG) in 2020, having previously served at Sky Bet for 12 years before its own combination with TSG, ending his tenure in the position of Chief Operating Officer.

Upon filing Flutter’s CEO vacancy, Grant has overseen a number of major strategic developments for the company – most recently its acquisitions of Tombola for £402m and Italian operator Sisal for €1.9bn. 

Additionally, Grant managed the business through the duration of the pandemic, during which time its range of Paddy Power high-street stores were repeatedly forced to close, as well as the political implications of the once again delayed Gambling Act review.

“I have been immensely proud to lead the UK&I business through such a momentous period for both Flutter and the wider industry,” he remarked. 

“Flutter’s market leading brands, talented team and approach to safer gambling are what sets the business apart. I have no doubt that the business is in good hands and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow sustainably and responsibly into the future.”

Brown takes the helm at Flutter UK&I following a difficult trading period for the company in the region, having registered a 20% decline in revenue during Q1 2022 to £453m (Q1 2021: £568m).

Despite finding much more success from its US operations – its FanDuel holding recorded Q1 2022 revenue growth of 45% to £430 million (Q1 2021: £288m) – Flutter maintains confidence in its British and Irish prospects, particularly following the Tombola takeover.

Group CEO Peter Jackson, welcomed Brown’s appointment – “I am delighted to welcome a leader of Ian’s calibre to our executive team. 

“He brings with him broad experience leading online businesses from a range of sectors, including travel, hospitality, business services, and financial services.” 

Bidding farewell to Grant, he remarked: “I would like to thank Conor for his significant contribution to Flutter. His work on the strategic vision and direction of our UK&I business has set us in great stead for the future, and his passion and determination to put our customers’ safety at the heart of what we do has anchored our industry-leading Play Well strategy. 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Conor and will personally miss his sound commercial judgement and keen eye for business opportunities. I’m sorry to see him leave but wish him well for the future.”

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