he Board of Directors of Ladbrokes owner GVC announced Monday that J M Barry Gibson has been selected to succeed Lee Feldman as Non-Executive Chairman.
After serving on the Board of GVC for 15 years and as Chairman for 11 years, Lee Feldman will step down on 27 February 2020, when Barry Gibson will succeed him as Chairman, with the latter’s appointment as a Non-Executive Director taking effect from 4 November 2019.
The appointment brings an end to a seven-month search for a replacement for Feldman, who along with Chief Executive Kenneth Alexander sold around 3 million of GVC shares last March, knocking them down by around 16%, Reuters reports. Since then, GVC shares have risen more than 50% following profit forecast upgrades.
Feldman’s departure also follows the Financial Reporting Council’s revised corporate code implemented in January, requiring public companies to explain if a board chair has remain unchanged for more than nine years.
Barry has extensive experience in the gambling sector, having previously been a Non-Executive Director of William Hill plc and bwin.party digital entertainment plc, where he was the Senior Independent Director.
He is the Chairman of HomeServe, and has worked with its founder CEO for nearly a decade to grow HomeServe into a market-leading FTSE 250 business.
He also has a long track record in the retail sector having previously been the Group Retailing Director at BAA plc, Group Chief Executive of Littlewoods plc, Non-Executive Chairman of Harding Brothers Holdings Ltd, and Non-Executive Director of both Somerfield plc and National Express plc.
“I am delighted to be joining GVC at such an exciting point in its growth trajectory. I have been involved in a number of companies in the gambling sector over many years, and it is immediately clear to me that GVC has industry-leading technology, products, brands, marketing capabilities and people,” Barry Gibson said. “As such, I see enormous potential for this business and am looking forward very much to helping GVC to be the most successful and responsible operator in the sector.”
Stephen Morana, GVC’s Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, who led the process to appoint a successor to Lee Feldman, commented:
“Our criteria for the new Chairman included significant gambling sector experience, a demonstrable track record of success on a range of high-profile public company boards, and a deep understanding of the evolving corporate governance landscape. After an extensive search, Barry stood out as exceeding all of those criteria, and we are delighted that someone of his caliber and experience is joining GVC to help us realize our ambitious plans for future growth.
“On behalf of the Board, I would also like to thank Lee Feldman for playing such an instrumental role in GVC’s transformation from a small AIM-listed business to a major Main Market, premium listed company. We wish him the very best for the future.”