New York-listed Penn National Gaming has confirmed that executive vice president and chief financial officer William J Fair will step down from his role in March.

Fair has served in his current role as CFO since 2017, having joined Penn National in 2014 as senior vice president and chief development officer.

He has agreed to stay with the operator through to the end of the first quarter of 2020 to allow time for the company to conduct a formal search for his successor, and to ensure a seamless transition of his responsibilities.

“We want to express our sincere gratitude to BJ for his many contributions to Penn National’s success during what has been a transformational period for our company,” said Penn National chief executive officer Timothy Wilmott. “Over the last five years, BJ has played a significant role in overseeing and structuring the financing strategies for our major growth initiatives, which include our recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment, the ongoing development of our two new Pennsylvania properties, and the launch of our sports betting and iGaming platforms.

“In addition, during BJ’s tenure, he oversaw the construction of Plainridge Park Casino and helped lead our efforts to acquire Tropicana Las Vegas, Margaritaville Resort, and most recently Greektown Casino. On behalf of the board of directors and everyone at Penn National, we wish BJ the very best in his future endeavors and thank him for ensuring that his transition will be managed seamlessly and efficiently.”

Commenting on his departure, Fair said: “I am proud of the significant milestones achieved during my time at Penn National and have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the best team in the gaming industry.

“This was a very difficult decision, but the timing was right in terms of my expiring contract, and it enables me to focus on some recent personal family issues. I look forward to working with my successor to facilitate a smooth handover and remain confident in Penn National’s continued success.”

Shares in Penn National Gaming Inc (NSQ:PENN) closed down 3.95 per cent at $18.25 per share in New York Friday.