Written On 4/11/11 By Recentpoker.com staff writer Lenny Wasman :
LEVY DEPARTURE NOT ASSOCIATED WITH LADBROKES TALKS
888.com CEO is on the move
The news that online gambling group 888.com's chief executive, Gigi Levy, is stepping down surprised many when it was released over the weekend, but 888 has been quick to emphasise that his imminent departure is not connected to the reported acquisition negotiations on-going between 888 and rival online and land gambling group Ladbrokes.
Announcing Levy’s resignation, 888 said that the high profile internet gambling executive would be pursuing his own interests after five years with the company, four of them as its chief executive. The intention is that Levy will remain a member of the board of directors, committing up to half his time over the next six months to help find a replacement.
It is not at this stage known what Levy's future plans are. The 888.com announcement noted that strong Q1 trading continuing into Q2 2011 had left the company well positioned for the future.
888 has been in talks with Ladbrokes since December on a possible takeover. A previous round of talks between the companies ended in failure in 2007. According to some reports, in the present negotiations an initial offer of 70p per share was rejected by 888's founding shareholders, and Ladbrokes is reportedly now considering whether to make a higher bid.
Brian Mattingley, deputy chairman and non-executive director at 888, will “work closely with management on all aspects of the business” pending the appointment of a new CEO, according to the statement.