Thursday May 31, 2012 : LEVY DEPARTS 888 HOLDINGS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Former CEO remains active in internet businesses
Online gambling group 888 Holdings advised Thursday that its erstwhile CEO and non-executive director, Gigi Levy, has stepped down from the board just over a year since he resigned as the group's chief executive.
Levy's resignation in April 2011 took many by surprise, and was reported by The Telegraph newspaper, which noted that he would stay on the board of directors for at least six months to facilitate a professional hand-over, but more importantly to avoid a demand for GBP 48 million from the vendors of the recently acquired Wink Bingo.
At the time, 888 warned that if "Gigi Levy ceases to be a member of the board… the Wink Bingo vendors may require 888 to initiate the sale of the Wink Bingo business to facilitate repayment of the outstanding debt" – or GBP 48 million.
Levy was also alleged to have had various disagreements with the company's founding shareholders – the Israel-based Shaked and Ben Yitzhak families.
When he left 888 last April Levy had been CEO of the company for almost five years, taking over the hot seat in mid-2006.
Once he had departed, it became clear that he had no intention of remaining idle, being a member of several other boards of directors and an active and savvy angel investor who was involved in several promising start-ups, among them the social gaming company Playtika.
Playtika's co-founders were Uri Shahak, the son of former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shakak, and a former colleague of Levy's at 888, and Robert Antokol, who previously founded game company Cmate SA, which he sold to Oberon Media Inc.
The duo reportedly made profited handsomely when US gambling giant Caesars Entertainment bought the company for its Caesars Interactive division, headed by former Party Gaming chief exec Mitch Garber.
Levy's fellow investors in the venture were 888 investor Ofer Lezovsky; former Empire Online VP marketing Avner Yasur, as well as real estate developers Igal Ahouvi, Yariv Gilat and Dafna Weiss; and Domaine du Castel winery founder Eli Ben-Zaken. All reportedly did very well from the sale of Playtika to the Americans.