Jette Nygaard-Andersen steps down as Entain CEO

December 13, 2023
By
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The decision comes amid mounting pressure following fines and acquisitions that have been called into question.

Jette Nygaard-Andersen has stepped down as the CEO of Entain. Nygaard-Andersen has informed the Board of her decision. 

In her place as Interim CEO will be Stella David. The former Senior Independent Non-Executive Director will begin in the position this week and will remain in the role until a permanent replacement is found. 

David will be bringing over 15 years with Bacardi to the role, plus experience as CEO of William Grant & Sons and Non-Executive Director and Committee Chair of Domino’s Pizza. 

David said, “I look forward to helping to build on the strong foundations for future commercial success."  

The decision comes following mounting pressure regarding fines and acquisition choices, which were described as ‘tone deaf’ by investment firm Eminence Capital in an open letter published back in June.  

Investigations by HMRC into Entain’s Turkish-facing businesses acting against Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010 also concluded in the company being fined £585m ($733.2m). Despite the actions being taken by management six years back, it was Nygaard-Andersen who was responsible for leading the company through the legal case.  

While the legal case regarding Entain’s Turkish-facing businesses was before Nygaard-Andersen's time, during her tenure the company has involved itself with many business partnerships and acquisitions. Some include Angstrom Sports, STS and 365scores, all triple-digit payouts of £203m, £750m and £120m respectively. Combined, these three acquisitions alone cost the company over £1bn. 

The STS acquisition was noted in the aforementioned Eminence Capital letter as being, ‘at best nice to have,’ with a summarizing comment that, ‘While we can support the company pursuing seemingly rational acquisitions, funding them with highly undervalued equity is an empire building, shareholder value-destroying strategy.’ 

Despite the price of the acquisitions, the company’s share prices continued to dip, hitting an low since August 2020 earlier this month at under £8.00 – a price dip seemingly unaffected by the large number of stocks purchased by company C-Suite and executives in early November.  

Regardless of the business decisions made under her leadership and the opinions on them voiced by Entain stockholders, Chairman of Entain Barry Gibson said, "Under Jette's leadership, Entain has executed a fundamental strategic shift towards regulated or regulating markets, overhauled its governance, transformed its operations and significantly improved its customer offering.” 

Following the announcement of her resignation, Entain stock prices have been on the rise, up over 4% since the beginning of day trade at 8am GMT.  

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