William Hill has begun the search for a new chief for its online business after announcing that current managing director of online Andrew Lee is to depart following a review of the division, with Crispin Nieboer replacing him on an interim basis.

The operator explained that it had decided to make a number of changes to support the online business’ next phase of growth, which will be focused around product innovation, personalisation and user experience improvements. This will also see former Paddy Power chief information officer Kevin O’Connor join William Hill as group CIO.

“Technology remains a key pillar of our strategy and the leadership changes announced today are about building a team who will deliver product innovations and continue to ensure technology is a major competitive advantage for William Hill,” William Hill chief executive James Henderson commented.

“This will allow us to further build on our brand and scale, and be best placed to compete. I would like to thank Andy for his contribution in recent years and to wish him well for the future.”

Lee has served as managing director of William Hill Online since October 2012, when he took on the role to replace Henry Birch. He joined the company as head of business integration in March of the same year, before taking over as interim head of mobile shortly after. Previously he spent more than ten years as an analyst covering the industry, working primarily with Desdner Kleinwort.

He will be temporarily replaced by Crispin Nieboer, currently head of the online division’s Shoreditch-based innovation hub. During this time he has overseen a number of products such as the development of a bonus wallet for William Hill’s proprietary iGaming platform, proofs-of-concept for its self-service betting terminal, the creation of an Apple Watch app and customer controls to promote responsible gambling.

Before he joined William Hill’s corporate development office in 2013, he was CEO of Gaming Media Group, a company he co-founded, and earlier in his career managed digital projects for BSkyB and ITV plc.

In his temporary role he will sit on the company’s executive committee, reporting directly to Henderson, with a search for a permanent replacement underway. Both internal and external candidates will be considered.

Kevin O’Connor will also join William Hill as part of the company’s major focus on product development and user experience. He most recently served as chief technology officer of financial information corporation S&P Capital IQ and has experience of the gambling sector after nine months with Paddy Power between 2010 and 2011.

He takes up his new role with the operator from January 18th, and will sit on the group’s executive committee.

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