Greek gaming operator OPAP has concluded its internal restructuring with the decision to split the roles of chairman and chief executive officer, with Damian Cope named as its new CEO.

Cope will assume the chief executive’s office on July 1st 2016 in an effort to strengthen the company’s senior management team, with current chairman and CEO Kamil Ziegler set to become executive chairman.

Ziegler has held the dual roles since October 2013.

OPAP’s board commended Ziegler for his achievements and said that the separation of the two roles was in line with international corporate best practice, adding that it highly confident that the company will be “even more efficient and productive” under the new leadership structure.

The board also welcomed Cope, stating that “the combination of both his broad betting and gaming experience and management skills will be an asset for the company's growth and future.”

Cope has over 18 years experience in the gambling industry, most recently serving as managing director of International at Ladbrokes with responsibility for all non-UK betting & gaming activities, across both retail and digital channels.

He has also served as a director of Sportium Apuestas Deportivas, group chief information officer and managing director of e-commerce for Gala Coral Group, and in a number of senior management positions at Blue Square and Rank Group.

Speaking about his appointment, Cope said: “I feel privileged to be taking on the role of chief executive of OPAP, a hugely respected brand both in Greece and around the world.

“Over the last three years under Kamil's strong leadership OPAP has undergone significant change and made positive progress. I look forward to working closely with Kamil and everyone at OPAP in building an even brighter future for the company.”

Shares in OPAP SA (Co. Data) (ASE:OPAP) closed up by more than 3 per cent on the news Friday and were trading up 1 per cent in Athens early Monday at €7.06 per share.

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