OpenBet works with some of the biggest operators in the industry but for years has felt like the quiet man in a field of noisy competitors. Jeremy Thompson-Hill breaks the silence to explain why he feels the supplier is in a stronger position than ever before.
Few in the industry have been kind to OpenBet over the past two years. In the three years following its management buyout backed by private equity group Vitruvian Partners, it has become the target of jibes from competitors and a source of fascination for industry commentators.
The departure of chief executive David Loveday in March 2013 only fuelled the rumour mill, with speculation that employees were increasingly disgruntled and unhappy with the business’ direction.
It is the kind of situation where businesses either launch a charm offensive to distract from a company’s deficiencies, batten down the hatches and simply ignore the critics, or throw up their hands asking “Crisis? What crisis?”
But Thompson-Hill is not one for such measures, quite simply because he does not believe the company is in crisis. He says that after fourteen years with the business he is still as enthused as he was when he joined a sixteen-strong start-up, and having taken charge following Loveday’s departure, he is bullish about its prospects for growth as it begins to push its omni-channel solution.
That’s not to say he will not address the criticism levelled at the business.
“I know we don’t talk much, and when we were talking previously we weren’t saying the right things so perhaps the message wasn’t significant,” he says. “It opens the door for people to make up their own minds, and that was our failing.”