The gambling industry is losing one of its superstars in the shape of Paddy Power Betfair chief executive Breon Corcoran, but is he getting out at the right time?
Breon Corcoran has had a stellar career at Paddy Power, then Betfair, then Paddy Power Betfair since leaving the investment banking world 16 years ago. Now, he is leaving the stage and most think he will not return.
Corcoran has basically done it all during that 16 years. He helmed PaddyPower.com, when it was basically a start-up and turned it into the Irish bookmaker’s growth engine. PaddyPower.com’s annual revenue was €8.5m, when he joined the company in 2001 and €295.3m, when he left in 2011.
He jumped ship for Betfair to restructure the betting exchange trailblazer into the profitable concern it always should have been. Net profit rose 155 per cent from £33.9m, when he joined, to £86.4m, when he marched the company into its 2015 megamerger with his former employer Paddy Power.
Over the past two years, he has overseen the two companies’ integration as CEO of Paddy Power Betfair. This is just a brief summary of his achievements. That he has done all this – including the inevitable redundancies that comes with two major restructurings – without this correspondent hearing anyone mutter a bad word against him, is little short of miraculous.
While analysts, colleagues and other insiders retain this admiration, there is almost complete consensus that Corcoran might be leaving at a good time.