Ladbrokes has taken a major step in increasing its focus on its online gaming operations after it announced the hiring of Jim Mullen. Currently the Chief Operating Officer of Ladbroke’s key UK rival William Hill, Mr Mullen is due to join the company in November. He is set to take on the role as Director of the Digital area of Ladbrokes, which includes its poker site, Ladbrokes Poker.
42-year-old Mullen will take the helm after a successful three years at William Hill, where the company became the United Kingdom’s market leader in the country’s online gaming industry. Ladbrokes, on the other hand, has struggled with the online gaming side of its business –it issued a profit warning just last month, attributing poor performance in online gaming, as well as horse racing for the notice.
The warning and the subsequent recruitment of Mr Mullen as digital Director shows that Ladbrokes is serious about becoming a greater player in online gaming by focusing on and developing its online poker and other gaming sites.
Chief Executive of Ladbrokes Richard Glynn said Mullen’s recruitment outlines the growing importance of its digital operations in Ladbrokes future growth.
“Today marks a significant step in our positioning of Ladbrokes as a major player in the rapidly evolving digital market,” Mr Glynn said. “The appointment of Jim Mullen means we have strong foundations in place to accelerate our growth in this important area.”
“(Mr Mullen) brings a wealth of hands on experience, having worked with Playtech for the last three years. He will join at an exciting time and we look forward to him helping us make the Ladbrokes brand as strong in the digital arena as we are on the High Street.”
The announcement of Mr Mullen as the digital Director of Ladbrokes also coincided with the opening of Ladbrokes’ new digital marketing services operation, Ladbrokes Israel. Based in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, Ladbrokes Israel begins operations as part of the March agreement between the company and Playtech.
The agreement between Ladbrokes and Playtech was signed after the gaming software development company sold its 29 per cent stake in William Hill Online to Ladbroke’s rival.