With Coral chief financial officer Paul Bowtell set to become finance director of Ladbrokes Coral following completion of the merger between the two operators, current Ladbrokes CFO Ian Bull has finalised the date of his departure from the business.

Bull will step down in February next year, bringing to a close almost five years as Ladbrokes CFO, having joined from brewer and pub operator Greene King in July 2011 to replace Brian Wallace .

Ladbrokes had already announced that Bull would leave the business when the Gala Coral deal was first announced, though no date was given. Bull has now informed the Ladbrokes board that he wishes to leave upon completion of the company’s annual accounts in order to pursue other potential opportunities.

He has agreed to stay with Ladbrokes until the announcement of its full year results for 2015, scheduled for late February 2016.

“Ian has worked tirelessly through what have been challenging times and has helped steer Ladbrokes to this exciting point in its journey,” outgoing Ladbrokes chairman Peter Erskine said. “We are pursuing an aggressive organic plan to build a stronger Ladbrokes as well as working on the proposed merger with the Coral Group, which will create a leading betting and gaming business and deliver substantial synergies.”

"In accepting his request [to step down] we are pleased that Ian has reiterated his commitment to delivering our organic strategy and in leading the current refinancing of the group in preparation for the proposed merger,” Erskine continued. “I am delighted that we will continue to benefit from Ian's energy and experience during this important time.”

While Bull’s departure date has been set for February next year, he may leave sooner should the proposed merger with Gala Coral be completed ahead of schedule. If, however, the merger takes longer to complete, the Ladbrokes board said it would “put in place appropriate arrangements.”

Shares in Ladbrokes plc (Co.Data) (LSE:LAD) were trading up 1.72 per cent at 97.40 pence per share in London this morning.