Jette Ngaard Andersen, who resigned as CEO at Entain in the last month has released a statement praising Entain for its transformation to a responsible operator.
Nygaard Andersen left her position as CEO at the end of December. Since January 2021 she has been the CEO of Entain, taking over from Shay Segev who left for sports streaming platform Dazn.
Stella David is currently an executive director but has been appointed interim CEO while Entain searches for a permanent successor.
Nygaard Andersen published her statement four weeks after making the announcement on LinkedIn. Her resignation was not a simple decision, but she believes Entain will be in “a better and stronger position” than ever before.
Nygaard Andersen stated that “through a variety of twists and turns, and challenges we have transformed the GVC business into one of the highest standards in governance, compliance and player safety. A new strategy has been developed to set the company up for future growth, both old and new markets, with excellent earnings quality.”
Over the last four years we have transformed the company into a responsible operator and a respected employer. We strategically placed the customer at the forefront of our business operations. We worked to transform the technology so that it is future-proof, and we diversified the product portfolio.
Entain: How to guide it through the tricky time
Nygaard Andersen was appointed CEO of Entain in the midst of the pandemic. Around the globe, restrictions and measures limited retail activities, but this also led to an increase in online gaming.
Nygaard Andersen, in her final statement, praised Entain’s staff for their work during the pandemic. In her departure statement, Nygaard-Andersen praised the work of Entain staff during the pandemic.
The business has always been focused on the customers, thanks to the passion and professionalism of Entainers all over the world.
Entain has grown to operate in 30 countries with over 30,000 staff.
What’s next for Nygaard Andersen?
Nygaard Andersen will not decide her future until she has taken a short break. Nygaard Andersen has not stated whether she will remain in gaming or seek an executive position elsewhere.
Nygaard Andersen stated that the gaming industry offers a great deal of opportunity for innovation. What worked before will not work today. This industry requires strategic thinkers, innovators and people who are committed to doing what is right for their customers.
It is with great gratitude that I thank you for the opportunity to have worked and met some of the most talented and brilliant people over these last four years who share this mentality.
Entain’s new look faces challenges
Entain made multiple leadership changes after the departure of the CEO. David has been appointed as the interim CEO of the group.
Entain has appointed Pierre Bouchut, a board member of Entain’s, as the senior independent director to replace David. Virginia McDowell became chairperson of the Remuneration Committee, while Gibson was appointed chairperson of the People and Governance Committee.
Rahul Welde has been appointed to the People and Governance committee. Ricky Sandler was named as non-executive Director this month. He is the CEO and founder of Eminence Capital.
Entain will be advised by the new board after the Crown Prosecution Service has resolved the case in relation to historical activities in Turkey. Entain has agreed to pay an amount of PS585.5m ($744.6m/EUR679.8m) as financial penalties, and a PS20m donation for charity.
Barry Gibson, chairman of Entain, said Nygaard Andersen was a key player in the agreement. In a time of “difficulty” for the group, he praised Nygaard-Andersen’s “exceptional” leadership.
Goldman Sachs, a financial services company, downgraded Entain from buy to sell in November. Goldman Sachs lowered Entain’s rating from buy to sell in November, citing concerns about the company’s growth, especially online.
BetMGM – the joint venture of MGM Resorts International and Entain – has recently expanded into the UK, but not with Entain. MGM has instead partnered with LeoVegas to create an international platform that uses LeoVegas technology. MGM Resorts acquired LeoVegas for 604 million dollars last year.
Discontentment is reported by many
Nygaard Andersen received criticism in the months and weeks leading up to her departure for her behavior. Both the industry at large and Entain themselves criticized Nygaard-Andersen’s conduct.
Recent reports in the Financial Times have revealed discord within the group. Investors and previous executives criticized Nygaard Andersen for the slow growth of Entain and its regulatory requirements.
Entain was involved in a frenzy of M&As during the period preceding Nygaard’s resignation. In contrast, Gibson was the main spokesperson for CPS.
Entain acquired STS Holding, a Polish operator of sportsbooks for 750m PS in June. Nygaard Andersen spoke at the time about the benefits of buying one of Poland’s largest sports betting operators. After receiving the backing of 99.3% shareholders, the acquisition was completed in August.
Entain completed its purchase of Angstrom Sports in October. Nygaard Andersen made a decision on the benefits of the BetMGM deal in the US.
Entain leaves certain unregulated market
There are also new reports that Entain is exiting many unregulated markets.
According to an Entain tracking document, seen by The Financial Times, Entain is withdrawing from over 140 markets around the world. Antarctica and Vatican City are among these markets.
Entain is also reported to be departing other territories that have a population permanent of less than 1000 people. This includes the Pitcairn Islands and French Southern and Antarctic Lands, as well as United States Minor Outlying Islands.
Entain, according to the report, has been withdrawing its products from the markets for the last few years. The process will be completed at the end 2023. The report said that larger, more regulated markets, such as Argentina and Russia, were closed.