London-listed gaming operator Rank Group has hired William Hill and Ladbrokes veteran Colin Cole-Johnson as group director of digital and cross-channel services with responsibility for the company’s online offering.

He will join the operator on September 24th this year, reporting directly to Rank Group chief executive Henry Birch.

He will also sit on the operator’s executive committee alongside Mecca managing director Mark Jones and Grosvenor Casinos managing director Phil Urban.

Cole-Johnson has over fifteen years’ experience in the gambling industry, having previously held high-profile positions with William Hill and Ladbrokes.

“Colin has over 15 years international digital gaming experience and, having worked with him previously, I know he will be a great addition to the team,” commented Birch, with whom Cole-Johnson worked at William Hill.

“Rank is already the leading online bingo operator and Colin will be instrumental in ensuring we continue to drive growth and innovation in all our digital businesses whilst looking for opportunities to consolidate our position as a true multi-channel business,” Birch added.

Cole-Johnson said he was delighted to join the operator at a “very exciting time” in Rank’s evolution.

“Rank has fantastic assets and brands and has the potential to substantially grow its business across all channels,” he explained.

Shares in Rank Group plc (Co. Data) (LSE:RNK) climbed to 164.40 pence per share in London early Friday.