ISABELLE ANDRES
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Betclic Everest Group

Isabelle Andres has helmed a comeback that seemed inconceivable under previous regimes. The French sportsbook market leader has embraced mobile with over 40 per cent of revenues coming through smartphones. Andres has clawed back Betclic’s credibility but faces a huge challenge with the relaunch of its poker offering. It will have to go some to challenge market leaders PokerStars and Winamax. She also masterminded a successful legal challenge that forced PMU to split its land-based and online horse racing liquidity, but can Betclic capitalise on its court victory?

RAFI ASHKENAZI
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Rational Group

Rafi Ashkenazi is one of the hardest-working men in online gaming. While ostensibly COO of Rational Group, much of his time has been spent as interim CEO of Full Tilt. Despite seeing player numbers plummet following its relaunch in November last year, the site has recovered to attract a seven-day average of 2,400 players. It is also set to expand into casino games for the first time. With New Jersey casting some doubt over the future of the Scheinbergs, Ashkenazi could find himself even more influential in the future.

BRITT BOESKOV
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Unibet

Operations chief Britt Boeskov has played a key role in ensuring the smooth transition of acquired brands to a single platform. She is an important member of a tight-knit management team that has stuck diligently to a long-term strategy that is paying off handsomely. Revenues have risen consistently throughout the year, while acquisitions in Australia, Denmark and France have been bedded in. Boeskov is also an influential voice on the advisory board of the social real-money gaming joint venture Bonza.

CORMAC BARRY
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SPORTSBET
Paddy Power

After adverse sporting results hit Paddy Power’s Q3 revenues, Sportsbet proved to be a silver lining for the company, with the Australian business continuing its strong growth. Cormac Barry is the Irish bookmaker’s main man Down Under. He will be in the hot seat as competition from UK rivals heats up this year. After a year that has seen more upheaval than normal back home, it is possible that the bookie’s former head of online will be summoned back to HQ to help maintain its market-leading position. Alternatively, he will be slugging it out with the likes of Ladbrokes, Unibet and William Hill in Australia.

RICHARD FLINT
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Sky Bet

Sky Betting and Gaming has continued its rapid growth throughout 2013, and while it may still be heavily reliant on sportsbook it has begun efforts to work on all other verticals, with a suite of new mobile apps released in 2013. The judges were unanimous in their praise of Richard Flint’s stewardship, which has seen the operator grow to such an extent that it now accounts for about eight per cent of Sky’s total revenues.

RON HOFFMAN
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Playtech

Ron Hoffman has a hell of a job pulling together Playtech’s subsidiaries, companies and offices, but his canny, solution oriented approach was praised by the judges. Since taking over as finance director in December 2012, Hoffman has brought a new level of transparency to results presentation, which has boosted the company’s reputation with investors and analysts alike. With the supplier continuing to acquire companies and contracts, and conquering markets all over world, Hoffman’s candid and honest approach reinforces Playtech’s status as the world’s leading iGaming service provider.

JOHAN KÖNIGSLEHNER
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Vera&John

Vera&John CEO Johan Königslehner has overseen a 100 per cent growth rate in 2012 and 2013, which is expected to continue throughout 2014. As such, Vera&John is one of the fastest growing operators in Europe. But it will not be restricted by jurisdictional boundaries. About 10 per cent of revenue comes from Asia and strong growth is expected in the region as it bolsters its offering with new products such as live casino. The company is also testing opportunities in South America, while Königslehner could be overseeing a listing some time in 2014.

STEVEN MATSELL
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Leander Games

Steven Matsell joined Argentina-based Leander Games from GTS and has put all his contacts and experience to good use as Leander pushes on to the next level. Matsell has built up an alliance of likeminded software houses and encouraged the company to build its own RGS to help the smaller developers’ speed of games to market. It was an innovative tactic to a tricky problem and is starting to pay dividends with distribution deals with the likes of Amaya. However, the pièce de résistance is the deal that will see Leander providing its games and its partners’ games to Rational Group’s new casino. That really should make everyone sit up and take note of a small company that is going places.

DOMINIC MANSOUR
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The Health Lottery

Dominic Mansour is as close to iGaming veteran status as anyone on this list following stints at Netplay and GTECH. But his current role could be his biggest challenge yet. Health Lottery owner Richard Desmond expects great things from the company. Mansour will have to use all his experience to balance the smooth running of the core business while dragging the organisation into iGaming with the launch of Health Lottery Plus, a partnership with bookmaker Coral.

SHAY SEGEV
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Playtech

Very few people understand how Playtech works and Shay Segev is the glue that sticks it all together. Segev is equally at home in the boardroom, in the office or on the front line with clients. Playtech has always been respected but not always trusted, and Segev has almost single-handedly turned that around. Unusually for a COO, he is often the key point of contact on the company’s largest projects. He can sell Playtech better than most but, more importantly, is often the man that makes sure the company delivers.

KAN TANG
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Asian Logic

Asian Logic is one of the most important companies in one of online gaming’s biggest markets – Asia – and CEO Kan Tang is one its most influential executives. CEO since 2002, Tang has overseen the development of successful online and land-based businesses. The company’s Dafabet subsidiary is becoming ever-more visible through deals such as its sponsorship of Premier League football club Aston Villa. Tang is an innovative and thoughtful chief who will ensure Asian Logic’s future success.

JOHN VANDEMORE
CFO AND VP OF EMERGING BUSINESS
IGT

John Vandemore has large shoes to fill as he replaces Robert Melendres as the man in charge of IGT’s wildly successful DoubleDown Casino. CFO Vandemore has added the interactive division to his list of responsibilities at a time when deals locking employees into their roles at the Seattle-based company come to an end. Vandemore will have to hit the ground running to continue his predecessor’s work. IGT’s interactive chiefs have come thick and fast in recent years, so Vandemore will have to be top of his game to survive in what’s become a very hot seat.

The Gaming Intelligence Hot 50 of 2014

GI HOT 50 Senior Management
GI HOT 50 Product Chiefs and Tech Wizards
GI HOT 50 Backstage Heroes
GI HOT 50 Sales & Marketing
GI HOT 50 Social Stars
GI HOT 50 Legal & Regulation

Related