Hans Cornehl, chief executive officer of German lottery brokerage ZEAL Network, is to step down from his role at the end of this year and will be replaced by the company’s chief marketing officer Helmut Becker.

Cornehl will leave the company when his contract expires on December 31st after thirteen years on ZEAL’s executive board, including four years as chief executive.

The company’s supervisory board said that it had accepted Cornehl’s decision “with regret” and thanked him for his work on the strategic realignment and development of the business.

“The right time has come to hand over the baton,” Cornehl said. “The company is in an outstanding financial position with excellent prospects for the future. The new growth strategy has started and the first initiatives are beginning to take effect.

“We have also been able to recruit Jonas Mattsson and Susan Standiford as members of the executive board. They are two outstanding managers with truly remarkable professional careers.”

zEAL's supervisory board chairman Andreas de Maizière said: “Together with his colleagues on the executive board, Dr Cornehl has placed the company on an extremely robust financial footing and positioned it for a promising long-term future. In the name of the supervisory board, I would like to thank him for his successful work and wish him all the best for his personal life and professional career.”

As a result of Cornehl’s departure, chief marketing officer Dr Helmut Becker will assume the CEO role. Becker has served as CMO since June 2013, having previously worked for leading companies such as social networking platform XING AG and eBay Deutschland. He also spent two years on ZEAL’s supervisory board before joining the executive team.

ZEAL said that Becker’s appointment would allow for continuity in the strategy and operational management of the business.

“We will continue accelerating the expansion of the three strategic divisions of ZEAL, in order to take advantage of the increasing digitisation and changes to the regulatory framework,” Becker said. “After a successful start to 2015 with a strong increase in sales and profit, alongside the payment of the first interim dividend in the current year, we are well on our way to generate additional growth and to create added value.”

de Maizière added: “I am delighted that we have been able to appoint Helmut Becker, a current Member of the Executive Board, as the new chief executive officer. He has a thorough knowledge of the company and has made a major contribution towards developing the current strategy. Customers, employees and shareholders at ZEAL can therefore look forward to a significant measure of continuity in the company management.”

Share in ZEAL Network SE (Co.Data) (FRA:TIM) are currently trading down 1.69 per cent at €48.08 per share in Frankfurt this morning.

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