The impending merger of Ladbrokes and Gala Coral has seen Gala chief strategy officer Shay Segev announce his departure from the business to take up a new role as chief operating officer of GVC Holdings.

Segev will take on the newly-created COO role at GVC from March 1st, 2016.

A highly respected gaming executive, Segev previously spent nine years with gaming technology and services provider Playtech, including four as COO, before leaving in March to join Gala Coral. He is described by GVC as “one of the leading technology and product experts in the online gaming industry.”

In his new role, Segev will assume responsibility for the strategic and operational direction of the enlarged GVC once its acquisition of is completed, leading the integration of the companies’ technology platforms.

“The GVC Board believes that Shay’s considerable expertise in online gaming, commercialising technology, product integration and platform assimilation will be an invaluable asset in ensuring the successful integration of GVC’s and’s products, brands and operation,” GVC said in a statement Monday.

In his career to date Segev has successfully helped businesses grow through technology and product innovation, focused on enhancing player experience. He has almost 20 years’ experience in the industry, and has twice been listed in Gaming Intelligence’s Hot 50 rankings of the most influential individuals in the industry.

During his tenure with Playtech he played a leading role in developing the business’ omni-channel approach to software development, serving as a key point of contact for major licensees.

“I could not be more delighted to welcome Shay to the GVC team,” GVC chief executive Kenny Alexander commented. “Central to the year-on-year growth of GVC has been investment in industry leading personnel.

“Shay is recognised in the industry as one of the leading figures in online gaming. His knowledge and experience of integrating technology businesses across all product verticals, from casino to sportsbook products, will be central to the success of the enlarged GVC/ group which we expect to complete in early February 2016.

“Everyone at GVC and are excited to be working with Shay and we are confident he will be a key player in the success of one the largest online gaming operators in the world following completion of the acquisition,” Alexander concluded.

“I am delighted to be joining what I see as the most exciting and innovative opportunity in the online gaming industry,” Segev added.

“I am looking forward to working with Kenny and his team to deliver world class services and products to an ever increasing player market. My experience at Playtech and Gala Coral is highly transferable and I am confident will deliver for the enlarged GVC and group’s shareholders.”

Shares in GVC Holdings plc (Co.Data) (LSE:GVC) were trading down 0.48 per cent at 374.20 pence per share in London early Monday morning.