Ulrik Bengtsson stands down as CEO of William Hill as 888 takeover nears completion

William Hill has confirmed that Ulrik Bengtsson has stepped down as Chief Executive of the company, which expects to complete its sale to 888 Holdings on 1 July.

Issuing a statement, Bengtsson told investors that he had accomplished the objectives of his leadership tenure, which saw William Hill internationally diversify its business, followed by its £3 billion sale to Caesars Entertainment.

“With the on-sale to 888 Holdings due to be completed later next week, the time is right for me to say goodbye to William Hill and to hand over to Itai Pazner, CEO of 888 Holdings.” Bengtsson said.

The former Group CEO of Betsson AB, Bengtsson joined William Hill in 2018 as Chief Digital Officer, as the heritage betting group undertook its business transformation programme.

During 2019, Bengtsson led William Hill’s £250 million acquisition of Mr Green, the FTSE firm’s biggest acquisition to date and deal that helped establish the William Hill International unit.

Following Mr Green’s acquisition, William Hill shareholders would appoint Bengtsson as Chief Executive, succeeding Philip Bowcock.

Upon taking leadership, Bengtsson was ordered to prepare the business for a sale, as William Hill investors looked to cash-in on the firm’s established US wagering properties.

Fulfilling the mandate, Bengtsson achieved the sale of William Hill to Caesars Entertainment, who upon completion of its takeover would sanction a sale of UK and European assets to 888 for £2 billion.

Bengtsson reflected on his tenure- “I look back over the last four years with pride at what we’ve achieved, which has brought us to this point where 888 Holdings see the massive benefit of acquiring William Hill and the opportunities it will open up for both businesses.”

888 Holdings have acquired a brilliant business with two premium brands in William Hill and Mr Green, and I look forward to seeing how the combined business grows over the coming years.”

Last week, 888 announced that its acquisition of William Hill will be completed on 1 July. Providing a performance update, 888 disclosed that William Hill’s revenue for the 26-week period ending June 26, 2022, is currently expected to close at £620-630 million

888 Group CEO Itai Pazner, thanked  Bengtsson for his ‘transformative leadership’ of William Hill – “Ulrik can rightly be very proud of building such a strong team, and as we look forward to combining the businesses. I am excited about the opportunities for the enlarged business, supported by top-quality management talent from both businesses.”

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