XLMedia (XLM) has moved to strengthen its senior leadership team following Christopher Bell’s decision to vacate as Chair, appointing Julie Markey in an interim role.
Markey steps into the position of interim Chair from her current role of non-executive Director of the Company and Chair of the remuneration committee, and will assume the responsibilities of the job whilst the company continues its search for a permanent replacement.
Bell has now formally stepped down as non-executive Chair of the AIM-registered company, announcing his intention to leave the position on 19 January 2022.
XLM stated at the time that former Ladbrokes Coral CEO Bell would continue to assist with the ‘orderly transfer’ to a new Chair before leaving his role ‘in due course’, before assuming the same position as Non-Executive Chairman at Codere.
As Chair of XLM for eight years, Bell oversaw the firm’s IPO listing on the London Aim in 2014, as well as “a number of successful strategic acquisitions”. In addition to vacating his position at XLM, Bell will also step down from his role at LSE-listed gambling firm Rank Group.
“It feels like the right time to step aside and let someone new support the business through its next phase of growth,” Bell remarked. “I wish everyone in the Company and its shareholders every success for the future.”
Closing 2021 trading, XLM expects the year to be a positive one for the company, driven by the aforementioned sports acquisitions and partnerships – notably, the firm secured takeovers of BlueClaw and Saturday Football Inc.
In particular, by acquiring BlueClaw, XLM aims to enhance its European Sports business by gaining a UK-based operations hub, with the group particularly lauding the performance of its sports unit.
The company anticipates sports revenue of approximately US$25.2 million (2020: US$11.3 million), and total trading results ‘in line with expectations’, with revenue of $66.6 million (2020: $54.8 million) and EBITDA of around $17.2 million (2020: $12.2 million).