London-listed betting and gaming operator William Hill has appointed Tom Waterhouse, formerly chief executive of the Tomwaterhouse.com.au online sportsbook that was acquired by the company last year, as CEO of its Australian business.

He will take charge of the company’s Sportingbet and Centrebet brands, as well as the Tomwaterhouse.com site that he founded in 2010. The online bookmaker was acquired by William Hill in August last year in a deal worth up to AUD$110m (€74.7m).

Waterhouse will replace Michael Sullivan in the role, with the former Sportingbet Australia chief executive’s position having been uncertain after William Hill confirmed in April this year that his role, along with that of chief operating officer Anthony Waller, was under review.

Sullivan was appointed CEO of William Hill Australia after the operator acquired Sportingbet Australia and Centrebet in December 2012. He had led Sportingbet Australia since the operator entered the market in 2002, taking charge of Centrebet following its acquisition in 2011.

The change-over has cost the operator £1.8m, which will be reported as an exceptional item in the company’s 2014 full-year results.

Waterhouse's appointment comes soon after William Hill revealed that long-serving CEO Ralph Topping would step down at the end of this month to be replaced by James Henderson, another long-term member of staff at the operator.

In related news, William Hill has announced the early settlement of the earn-out agreed as part of the acquisition of the Tom Waterhouse business for AUD$5m (€3.5m), up from the earn-out potential valued at $1m at the end of 2013. The difference will be treated as an exceptional non-recurring cost in its 2014 full-year results.

The operator paid $35m up-front for the business, with an earn-out of up to $70m based on the incremental operating profit of the business up until December 31st 2015.

William Hill noted that settling the earn-out ahead of schedule would give the Australian business more operational and fiscal flexibility after Tomwaterhouse.com was integrated onto the operator’s sports betting platform in April this year.

Shares in William Hill plc (Co.Data) (LSE:WMH) will commence trading at 353.00 pence per share in London today, having gained  1.44 per cent in London Wednesday.

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