The deposed William Hill chief executive James Henderson appears to have been put forward as a scapegoat for many of the operator’s problems. But the lack of a coherent strategy since his departure suggests a more deep-rooted problem.
William Hill has fallen a long way in a short space of time. In January it reported its first annual revenue decline for more than a decade and in March it warned that it expected to post a sharp decline in full-year profit. It has since lost its chief executive, many of its longest-serving executives, and some would argue its direction.
From an industry titan feared by competitors, William Hill became a target for smaller companies looking to break into the top tier, namely Rank Group and 888. It then quickly turned its attention towards acquiring Amaya, and just as quickly dropped the idea following a backlash from investors who questioned the logic of the proposed combination.
Blame for William Hill’s fall from grace has been placed at the feet of the departed Henderson, whose ousting as CEO was described as “unanimous” by chairman Gareth Davies.