UK National Lottery operator Camelot has appointed Sir Hugh Robertson as its new chairman with immediate effect.

Robertson is currently chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA), having previously served as Olympics Minister for the London 2012 Olympic Games before becoming Minister of State at the Foreign Office responsible for the Middle East, North Africa and Counter Terrorism.

He will be supported by Robert Walker, who has been brought in as deputy chairman and senior independent director with immediate effect.

Walker is currently chairman of Ei Group (formerly Enterprise Inns), the largest portfolio manager of pubs in the UK, and also has extensive experience in chair positions at large public companies including Travis Perkins, WHSmith, BCA Europe and Williams Lea.

Camelot said that the appointments further strengthen the governance of the company’s board in accordance with the Board Governance Review process that is currently underway.

“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as Camelot’s chairman for the past two years,” said Camelot’s outgoing chairman Jo Taylor. “In Sir Hugh and Robert, we have appointed two individuals of exceptional calibre who will bring extensive commercial and stakeholder experience to further strengthen Camelot’s board.”

Commenting on his new role, Robertson said: “I am delighted to be joining as Camelot’s chairman. I have been privileged to see first-hand the enormous difference The National Lottery makes to the fabric of the UK, not least through its funding of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as the 2016 Games in Rio, and its ongoing support for our elite athletes.

“When I heard that Camelot was seeking a new chairman, I actively sought the role – and am delighted to be joining a business that plays such an important role in today’s society.

“However, Camelot’s role in running a national institution can never be taken for granted,” he added. “I look forward to working with the current management team, as well as my fellow board colleagues, to further build on the company’s long tradition of commercial innovation – growing National Lottery sales in a socially-responsible way – while looking to ensure there is an appropriate policy and regulatory environment which allows The National Lottery to flourish.”

Camelot also confirmed that Sir Patrick Brown and Tony Illsley will stand down from their roles as independent non-executive directors.

In addition to Taylor, Camelot’s remaining non-executive directors are Jane Rowe, David Kelly and Rob Rowley, with a further director to be appointed in the coming months. Camelot chief executive Nigel Railton also sits on the board.

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