Jim Ryan, who announced his retirement in early December, has officially stepped down from his role as co-chief executive of bwin.party, while Norbert Teufelberger will take over under the new title of Group CEO. Ryan assured investors that the company is "in excellent hands and is particularly well-placed for the future" under Teufelberger’s leadership.
Ryan, who has expressed a desire to spend more time with his family, joined PartyGaming in June 2008, and oversaw the $105 million settlement agreement with the US Department of Justice in April 2009. He became co-chief executive of bwin.party digital entertainment after the March 2011 merger.
While many have questioned the joint chief executive-structure, Ryan and Teufelberger have enjoyed a successful relationship. The pair have entered new European markets—some somewhat controversially—and have positioned the company to flourish in a (potentially) regulated US market, penning partnerships with Boyd Gaming, MGM, and Zynga.
"The transition to regulated markets is continuing and we are entering a period of intense product and technology innovation that will now be led by Norbert Teufelberger, whose experience, as one of the pioneers in online gaming, is probably unrivalled," said bwin's Non-Executive Chairman Simon Duffy in December.
Bwin.party also announced today that chief operating officer Joachim Baca has stepped down from the board of directors following Ryan’s retirement. Baca, who will continue as chief operating officer, has resigned from the board in compliance with the UK Corporate Governance Code, which mandates that at least half the board comprise of independent non-executive directors.