UK bookmaker William Hill has named former Gamesys and SIS chairman Roger Devlin as its next chairman.
Devlin will join the board as chairman designate on February 1st, 2018, and will officially take over as William Hill chairman on April 2nd, following an induction and handover from incumbent Gareth Davis.
Devlin has extensive experience as an executive, non-executive and chairman in a number of listed companies across the leisure, sport and betting and gaming sectors.
He spent more than ten years with Hilton Group, which owned bookmaker Ladbrokes at the time, and has been chairman of leading pub operator and brewer Marston's since September 2013 and Gamesys between 2006 and 2016.
He is currently chairman of Sports Information Systems (SIS), in which William Hill holds a 19.5 per cent stake, and a non-executive director of the Football Association, but will step down from these roles in January and June of next year respectively.
"William Hill is a business and brand I have greatly admired during my years in the leisure sector and more recently as chair of SIS,” Devlin said. “I recognise that there are both immediate challenges to address for the industry and considerable medium and longer term opportunities for the group, and I look forward to working with Philip Bowcock, his executive team and the board to deliver further progress for the group and shareholders."
William Hill’s senior independent director Sir Roy Gardner commented: "Roger Devlin has extensive experience as a listed company chairman, in the City from his early days in corporate finance and across his sector relevant appointments at Hilton Group, Gamesys and SIS. We look forward to him joining as chairman and continuing the strong recent progress the group has made under Gareth's chairmanship.
"On behalf of the board I would also like to take this early opportunity to thank Gareth Davis for his considerable contribution and commitment to the group over the past seven years. Gareth's experience, energy and commitment have been of considerable benefit to William Hill as we seek to continue to grow the business online and internationally, and to deliver our strategy. We look forward to working with him in the coming months and wish him well for the future."
Davis added: "I have greatly enjoyed my time at William Hill and am pleased the business is on a strong footing, continues to grow and has established strategic positions in key international markets. I will be working closely with Roger Devlin in the coming months to introduce him to the business before I step down as planned and I wish Roger all the best for his future at what is a great company."
Shares in William Hill plc (LSE:WMH) were trading up 0.38 per cent at 314.80 pence per share in London Wednesday morning, having set a new 52-week high of 317.60 pence per share earlier following the announcement.