Will Whitehorn, the former president of Virgin Group's commercial spacecraft division, has been named a senior independent director of London-listed GVC Holdings.

Whitehorn currently serves as deputy chairman and senior independent director of transport giant Stagecoach Group, and as an independent non-executive director of online estate agent Purplebricks Group.

He spent a large part of his career with Richard Branson's Virgin Group, joining in 1987 and holding a number of key positions, including group public relations manager and brand development and corporate affairs director. He was a founding director of its iGaming arm Virgin Games, and served as president of Virgin Galactic between 2007 and 2011.

Whitehorn is also a former non-executive chair of digital marketing business Next Fifteen Communications, Crowd Reactive Limited and Speed Communications Agency.

"I am delighted that Will has agreed to join the board and we look forward to working with him," GVC chairman Lee Feldman said. "He brings a wealth of innovative commercial experience and corporate knowledge. The appointment reflects the company's continuing commitment to broadening the skills-base of its board and enhancing its corporate governance practices following the move to the Premium Segment [of the Official List] in 2016."

Whitehorn said of his appointment: "I am very excited to be joining and contributing to the great team who have built GVC so successfully. It is a company which is growing in an industry that is changing dramatically due to new technology, competition and regulation. All of which means exciting opportunities and challenges ahead."

Shares in GVC Holdings plc (Co. Data) (LSE:GVC) were trading up 1.62 per cent at 719.50 pence per share in London Thursday.