John Boyle returns to BoyleSports to lead CEO hunt

BoyleSports has confirmed to media that Mark Kemp has chosen to step down as Chief Executive of the Irish bookmaker.

Kemp is understood to be leaving the Dundalk business, to take an executive position within the new sportsbook division of DAZN – the multi-billion-pound financed streaming platform backed by Sir Leonard Blavatnik’s Access Industries fund.

The decision sees Kemp leave BoyleSports, less than a year into his leadership tenure. The former Managing Director of the UK Tote Group, Kemp had joined BoyleSports last summer, replacing Conor Grey as CEO.

The Racing Post has reported that company founder John Boyle will ‘return to an executive role within the business’, supported by predecessor Conor Grey who took charge of BoyleSports ongoing international expansion plans last year.

BoyleSports thanked Kemp for ‘making a positive contribution’, confirming to media that he would officially depart from CEO duties in July.

2019 saw BoyleSports enter the UK retail betting market, acquiring the Midlands and Black Country shop portfolio of independent bookmaker Wilf Gilbert.

However, COVID-19 circumstances would interrupt the Irish bookmaker’s UK expansion plans during 2020 and 2021 – in which BoyleSports has so far only opened 20 UK betting shops.

The number falls well below BoyleSports original target of 100 betting shops needed to establish its UK retail footprint. BoyleSports are reported to be monitoring 888 Holdings developments closely, in light of the FTSE250 group’s strategic direction regarding its UK estates recovery from the 2-year pandemic.

Returning to the executive team, founder John Boyle will likely sanction a leadership restructure as the company requires a new CEO and Online MD following the departure of former incumbent Eddie Bennet at the start of the year.

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