Rational Group has appointed Guy Templer as its new chief operating officer, a role which will see him take operational reins as the company expands the PokerStars brand further into the online casino and sportsbook sectors.

Templer has been promoted from his current role of chief strategy officer, having joined the operator as group director of business development and strategy in 2011.

He will assume the role of COO on January 1st and will continue to report to Rafi Ashkenazi, CEO of Rational Group and parent company Amaya.

Templer will be responsible for the day-to-day management of significant parts of the organization, and will continue to be responsible for the teams launching core products into new markets and adding new verticals within existing markets.

Rational Group noted that Templer had directed key initiatives for the operator, including PokerStars’ re-entry into the US market in New Jersey, the launches of casino, sportsbook and social gaming products, as well as the local licensing of the company’s brands across Europe.

“Guy has been a key architect of our strategy and our operational excellence efforts that are driving our business toward sustainable, diversified growth,” said Ashkenazi. “His deep knowledge of the company, our customers and our products combined with his industry expertise makes him a vital member of our executive management team.”

Prior to joining Rational Group, Templer held executive positions at NetPlay TV, Two Way TV and Two Way Gaming.

He takes over a role left vacant by the departure of Israel Rosenthal earlier this year. Rosenthal had been appointed COO following Ashkenazi’s move into the chief executive seat.

"Rafi and I have a great established working relationship,” said Templer. “My renewed focus on the operations side of the business, both core products and new markets, will free Rafi to continue to deliver the strategic gains that we’ve planned for our growing portfolio of brands for 2017 and beyond.”

Shares in Amaya Inc (Co. Data) (TOR:AYA) were trading at CAD$18.77 per share in early trading in Toronto Wednesday.

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