William Hill – Roger Devlin as Chairman Designate

William Hill PLC announces the appointment of Roger Devlin as Chairman Designate with effect from 1 February 2018.

Roger Devlin will join the Board as Chairman Designate on 1 February and, following an induction and handover, he will be appointed Chairman on 2 April 2018 when Gareth Davis will stand down.

Roger has extensive experience as an executive, non-executive and Chairman in listed companies, including relevant experience of a number of businesses and organisations in leisure, sport and betting and gaming.  He has been Chairman of leading pub operator and brewer Marston’s PLC since September 2013.  He is also currently Chairman of Sports Information Systems (Holdings) Limited (SIS), where William Hill plc is a 19.5% shareholder, and a non-executive director of the Football Association but will step down from both these roles in January and June 2018 respectively.  Previously, Roger was Chairman of private gaming operator and developer Gamesys between 2006 and 2016.

Prior to building his experience as an independent director, Roger had a successful executive career which included a variety of senior and board level roles, spanning investment banking, industrial and international businesses. This included over ten years with Hilton Group plc as Group Corporate Development Director and an Executive Committee member as well as a Board director for both the hotels and Ladbrokes businesses owned by Hilton Group at that time.

Commenting on the appointment Sir Roy Gardner, Senior Independent Director of William Hill said:

“Roger Devlin has extensive experience as a listed company Chairman, in the City from his early days in corporate finance and across his sector relevant appointments at Hilton Group, Gamesys and SIS. We look forward to him joining as Chairman and continuing the strong recent progress the Group has made under Gareth’s chairmanship.

“On behalf of the Board I would also like to take this early opportunity to thank Gareth Davis for his considerable contribution and commitment to the Group over the past seven years.  Gareth’s experience, energy and commitment have been of considerable benefit to William Hill as we seek to continue to grow the business online and internationally, and to deliver our strategy. We look forward to working with him in the coming months and wish him well for the future.”

William Hill Chairman Gareth Davis commented:

“I have greatly enjoyed my time at William Hill and am pleased the business is on a strong footing, continues to grow and has established strategic positions in key international markets.  I will be working closely with Roger Devlin in the coming months to introduce him to the business before I step down as planned and I wish Roger all the best for his future at what is a great company.”

Roger Devlin, prospective Chairman Designate, William Hill commented:

William Hill is a business and brand I have greatly admired during my years in the leisure sector and more recently as Chair of SIS.  I recognise that there are both immediate challenges to address for the industry and considerable medium and longer term opportunities for the Group, and I look forward to working with Philip Bowcock, his executive team and the Board to deliver further progress for the Group and shareholders.”

Notes to Editors

The decision to appoint Roger Devlin represents the culmination of a detailed search process overseen by the Company’s Nomination Committee and led by Sir Roy Gardner, Senior Independent Director. The process to plan for the Chairman’s succession commenced earlier in 2017, in line with Gareth Davis’ indication that he intended to step down before the 2018 Annual General Meeting.

Other disclosures

In accordance with Listing Rule 9.6.13R, Roger Devlin is currently Chairman of Marston’s PLC, having been appointed with effect 1 September 2013. There is no other information required to be disclosed.  Roger Devlin does not currently have an interest in any ordinary shares of William Hill PLC.  Roger will be entitled to receive a fee of £295,000 per annum from appointment, and will not otherwise receive any additional compensation or benefits.

Leave a Comment