Kelly takes over as chairman at Ladbrokes

ladbrokesimageLadbrokes has confirmed that John Kelly, founder and former chief executive of Gala Coral, has assumed the role of chairman with immediate effect, following the departure of Peter Erskine.

The bookmaker in May announced that Erskine had informed management of his intention to step down as chairman before the end of the year, with Kelly, a senior non-executive director, tasked with leading the search for a successor.

Kelly, who last month delivered a successful shareholder vote for the proposed merger with Gala Coral, will now step into the role and also serve as chairman of the proposed merger entity Ladbrokes Coral.

“It is a great honour to take on the role of chairman of Ladbrokes at such an exciting time in the company’s history,” Kelly said.

“We have an aggressive organic plan for growth under our new chief executive, Jim Mullen, and are working hard towards the proposed merger with Coral Group.

“While there has been much to do, the board and the executive team are focused on delivering for shareholders and I remain confident in the direction and momentum in the business.”

Meanwhile, Ladbrokes has also appointed Mark Pain as a non-executive director and chairman of its audit committee.

Pain, who will retain his new role should the proposed merger with Gala Coral go ahead, also currently holds executive and director positions with London Square Developments, Johnston Press and Yorkshire Building Society.

In addition to confirming as Kelly as chairman, Ladbrokes said he has been reappointed chair of the nomination committee, appointed as a member of the remuneration committee and ceased to be a member of the audit and social responsibility committees.

As a result, Sly Bailey has been appointed as chair of the social responsibility committee.

Christine Hodgson has also agreed to serve as senior independent director in the interim while the bookmaker searches for a permanent replacement, as well as additional non-executive directors ahead of the merger with Gala Coral.

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