888 Holdings’ chief executive officer Itai Frieberger has stepped down with immediate effect, with chief operating officer Itai Pazner promoted to CEO.

Frieberger is handing over the reins to Pazner after more than 14 years with the business and eight years as chief executive, and will remain with the business as a director for up to twelve months to ensure a smooth transition.

“Itai Frieberger has been instrumental in driving the transformation of 888 into one of the world's leading online gaming companies. The Board understands and accepts Itai Frieberger's decision to step back from the day-to-day running of a global business and, in order to ensure a seamless transition, we are delighted that he will remain on the Board of 888 over the coming months," said 888 chairman Brian Mattingley.

“In Itai Pazner we have the ideal successor as CEO. Itai is a highly experienced and dynamic operator who has developed a unique understanding of 888 over the past 17 years within the company. He has a fantastic track record within the Group having helped to drive 888's growth in a number of new regulated markets and overseen significant product and marketing innovation during recent years,” Mattingley added. “Itai Pazner has worked closely with Itai Frieberger for a number of years, especially in his most recent role as COO, which will enable an effective and seamless transition.”

Commenting on his decision to step down, Frieberger said: “This has not been an easy decision to make, however I feel that - after eight exciting and rewarding years as a senior executive in a dynamic global business - this is the right time for me to step back from the day-to-day running of 888. I would like to thank the Board for their understanding and support of my decision and I look forward to continuing to work with the Directors in my new role.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved during my time at 888. The global online gaming industry has changed beyond recognition during this period but, despite this, the Group has continued to achieve its strategic objectives and deliver for its stakeholders. This is down to the strength of our team and our outstanding technology.”

Pazner, who assumes the chief executive’s office today (Jan 24), said: “I am honoured to become the new CEO of 888. 888 has a brilliant team and culture across the business, which is led by a talented and vastly experienced operational management team.

“Itai Frieberger is hugely admired both within 888 and throughout the online gaming industry and he has been instrumental in the Group's significant development over many years. I am very excited at the prospect of building on his work and continuing to deliver the Group's clear growth strategy by further enhancing our technology and growing 888's presence across products and global regulated markets.”

Shares in 888 Holdings plc. (LSE:888) were trading down 1.48 per cent at 166.00 pence per share in London Thursday morning following the announcement.