Departure amid investor pressure

Entain's former CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen to receive $5.4 payout as "good leaver"

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Former Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen is poised to receive a payout of up to £4.3 million ($5.44 million) after being classified as a "good leaver" by the Ladbrokes and Sportingbet operator upon her departure amid investor pressure.

Nygaard-Andersen, who initially joined the bookmaker as a non-executive director, was ousted in December after a three-year tenure, facing mounting criticism from activist shareholders over her acquisition strategy. Ricky Sandler of Eminence Capital, who has since joined the board, labeled her scattergun approach as "an empire-building, shareholder value-destroying strategy."

Nygaard-Andersen's total pay last year amounted to £1.33 million, a decline from £1.9 million in 2022. Her exit package includes a year's salary and benefits, with her current 12-month notice period salary at £845,000, augmented by benefits and pension contributions totaling up to £100,000.

The £4.3 million payout represents the upper limit of her entitlement, with £2.3 million tied to long-term incentive plans (LTIPs) that may not be fully disbursed. An Entain spokesperson defended the payments, stating they align with contractual terms and the company's remuneration policy, which received overwhelming shareholder approval at the April 2023 AGM.

Stella David, currently serving as interim CEO, receives a salary of £874,000 ($1.1 million). Additionally, she received a £500,000 long-term incentive payment compensating for forfeiture from her previous role as chairwoman of cinema chain Vue International.

Entain's annual report reveals no payout on 80% of the 2023 annual bonus, based on financial metrics like operating profit and net gaming revenues, while the remaining 20% tied to non-financial metrics, such as safer betting and gaming, was fully distributed.

The 2021 LTIP, linked to performance and total shareholder returns over the three years ending December, expired without payout.

In a separate development, the Gambling Commission concluded its review of 888 Holdings' operating licenses without imposing any conditions, financial penalties, or other remedies. The review was initiated in July following a potential takeover bid for William Hill by a consortium of former Entain executives.

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