UK bookmaker Ladbrokes has appointed Kristof Fahy as its new chief marketing officer, with the former William Hill executive to lead all brand and marketing activity across digital and retail channels.

Fahy joins Ladbrokes from media business Telegraph Media Group, where he was in charge of marketing and digital acquisition. He leaves that role after just seven months, having spent the previous five years as William Hill's chief marketing officer (CMO).

Fahy has also worked for a number of leading technology companies, serving as vice president of marketing for Yahoo, brand director for Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion and global brand communications director for French telecommunications giant Orange.

Ladbrokes had identified the appointment of a new CMO as key to the marketing-driven growth strategy set out by chief executive Jim Mullen in July this year.

At the time Mullen described this as a key element in developing Ladbrokes’ brand proposition, with the company to focus on building its football audience and attracting recreational customers.

“When I set out the Ladbrokes organic plan for building long term recreational scale and made the necessary budget commitment to boost our marketing presence, I was always conscious that I would need an experienced and creative marketing professional to lead the programme,” Mullen explained. “In Kristof, I have recruited the right leader who can help us maximise our spend and grow the long term loyal customer base that will build a better Ladbrokes and deliver our long term targets and ambitions.”

“Kristof has exceptional experience in our sector and a track record of delivery in the battle to attract and retain recreational customers,” he added.

Fahy’s appointment appears to mark a shift in strategy for Ladbrokes, with the operator having split its online and retail marketing operations in 2013 following its strategic partnership with Playtech. At the time its digital team was moved to the newly-formed Ladbrokes Israel subsidiary, with retail marketing remaining in the UK. This in turn prompted the departure of the company’s former chief marketer, customer experience director Stephen Vowles.

In his new role, Fahy will report directly to Mullen and sit on the company’s executive management team. If the operator's proposed merger with Coral to create Ladbrokes Coral goes ahead, he will become CMO of the enlarged group and be part of the senior management team.

“I am delighted to be joining Ladbrokes at this time,” Fahy said. “They have laid out an ambitious organic plan with marketing at its heart as well as progressing a transformational deal with Coral.

“While the challenges in these plans are clear and the market place incredibly competitive, the opportunities are exciting and deliverable and it's a great time to be joining Jim and the Ladbrokes team.”

Shares in Ladbrokes plc (Co. Data) (LSE:LAD) gained 2.32 per cent to 105.90 pence per share in London this morning following the announcement.

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