Paddy Power Betfair has confirmed that Stewart Kenny, co-founder and former CEO of Paddy Power, is to step down after 28 years with the company.

Kenny co-founded Paddy Power in 1988, alongside David Power and John Corcoran, serving as CEO until 2002 when he retired from his executive role.

He started his own bookmaking business at the age of 15 and trained with Ladbrokes in London for two years before establishing a chain of betting shops, Kenny O’Reilly Bookmakers.

After selling the business to Coral in 1986, he went on to open a further ten betting shops in between 1986 and 1988. In 1988 Kenny was one of three Irish bookmakers, along with David Power and John Corcoran, who founded Paddy Power by merging their 40 betting shops.

In 2001 Paddy Power became Ireland's first listed bookmaker and in February this year, merged with operator Betfair in a deal worth £5bn to form Paddy Power Betfair, which earlier today posted a strong set of results for the first half of 2016.

He was chairman of the company until 2003 and remained on the board as a non-executive director for the past 13 years.

“After 40 years in bookmaking and 28 years' involvement with this business, Stewart has an enviable record in the industry and leaves a great legacy,” said Gary McGann, chairman of Paddy Power Betfair. “He was instrumental in creating a highly successful international business from a small domestically-focussed retail operation at inception.

“Stewart, more than anyone, positively influenced the culture of the business. He played a hugely supportive role in the merger of Paddy Power with Betfair.

“He is retiring after many years of enormous service to the company and the industry,” continued McGann. “We wish him every success in the future and thank him for his incredible contribution to this business."