London-listed gaming operator Rank Group has strengthened its board with the appointment of Karen Whitworth as a non-executive director.

Whitworth will serve on the company’s audit, safer gambling and remuneration committees and will be appointed as audit committee chair with effect from 21 November.

A qualified chartered accountant, Whitworth has 17 years of board level experience at both private and publicly listed entities, with responsibilities spanning commercial, operations, and governance.

She was recently a member of the commercial board and director of non-food grocery and new business at supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. During her ten-year tenure at the company, Whitworth also served as director of supply chain operations, and director of internal audit and risk.

Prior to joining Sainsbury’s, Whitworth held numerous senior positions at the Intercontinental Hotel Group between 2000 and 2005, and also worked for online entertainment business BGS Holdings. She is currently a non-executive director of investment company Tritax Big Box REIT.

“We are delighted to welcome Karen to the Rank board,” said Rank Group chairman Alex Thursby. “Her extensive background in finance and governance, together with significant broad business acumen, will be a real asset to the group. The board and I are very much look forward to working with her over the coming years."

Shares in Rank Group plc (LSE:RNK) were trading down 5.24 per cent at 226.00 pence per share on Tuesday morning.