avis joined Imperial Tobacco in 1972 as a management trainee and undertook various roles in the business, including Managing Director of International Operations from 1988. He was appointed Chief Executive in 1996 and led the successful demerger of Imperial Tobacco from Hanson plc and subsequent listings on the London and New York Stock Exchanges.
He played a key role in the development and execution of Imperial Tobacco’s strategy and its development into a leading multi-national business. Since 2003, Davis has also been a non-executive director of Wolseley, where he is also senior independent director.
As announced on 20 January 2010, Charles Scott will stand down with effect from the same date. Scott has been with the Group as a director since 1999 and Chairman since 2004.
CEO Ralph Topping commented: "We are delighted that Gareth has agreed to join the Board as Chairman of William Hill. He has strong, relevant experience in terms of managing a complex, regulated business expanding from a robust UK base into international markets. We look forward to being able to draw on that experience as we take William Hill forward.
"On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Charlie for his ten years with us and his Chairmanship since 2004. He made a very significant contribution during a period of rapid growth and change at William Hill and he leaves behind a company that is the market leader in the UK and well-positioned to grow internationally through the online business."