Ladbrokes boss announces departure

Ladbrokes has begun the search for a new chief executive after Chris Bell announced plans to leave the bookmaker in the summer.

Ladbrokes has begun the search for a new chief executive after Chris Bell announced plans to leave the bookmaker in the summer.

Mr Bell has been at the helm for nine years, having risen through the ranks during 20 years at the firm. He has taken Ladbrokes through significant changes in gaming regulations, including Britain's 2007 Gambling Act, as well as the rise in online betting and the diversification away from horse racing.

Ladbrokes chairman Peter Erskine said Mr Bell and the board agreed that it was the right time to seek new leadership for the business.

He added: “The board is currently engaged in the search for a new chief executive to fully capitalise on Ladbrokes’ brand strength and position the company for a new era of profitable growth.”

Mr Erskine said Mr Bell had made an “invaluable contribution” to the growth and development of Ladbrokes over 20 years.

The 52-year-old will stay in his role until the summer in order to ensure continuity.

Prior to joining Ladbrokes Mr Bell held a number of senior positions with Allied Domecq. He is also vice-chairman of the Association of British Bookmakers and a board member of the Horserace Betting Levy Board.

Ladbrokes shares were 1% higher today.

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