Ladbrokes’ IT chief steps down

Betting company Ladbrokes has announced that its head of product, who is responsible for IT and trading, will be leaving the company following a profit warning in its digital business.

Head of product Richard Ames, who is also a director of the company, “has ceased to perform his executive duties with immediate effect”, Ladbrokes said in a statement.

It plans to make a further announcement about Ames’ departure “in due course”, until which point he will remain a director of Ladbrokes.

“The company is scheduled to provide its interim results at 7.00AM on Thursday 2 August 2012, where it will provide additional information on any management changes,” Ladbrokes said.

Last month, the betting company provided a profit warning to investors for the first half of the year, due to a poor performance in its digital business.

Although it had anticipated a decline in digital profits year-on-year, due to increased marketing costs and withdrawal from certain international markets, the company said that the profit fall was worse than expected.

“This decline has been exacerbated primarily by poor sportsbook margin in Q2 and by delays in the delivery of technology projects leading to lower than expected revenue in Q1,” Ladbrokes said.

“As a result, we now expect digital profits in H1 [first half of the year] to be down further than anticipated at around half (£15.5 million) that delivered in H1 2011 (£31 million).”

One of the delayed IT projects was the transfer of all customers to a new website by the Euro 2012 football tournament, which took place in June, which was postponed due to negative feedback.

According to The Telegraph, Ladbrokes’ chief executive Richard Glynn is expected to tell investors this week that the company will not be able to deliver its technology strategy until the end of the year.

This would mean the company will miss out on opportunities provided by major sporting events such as the London 2012 Olympics and months of the next football season.

Ames was appointed to the Ladbrokes board on 1 January 2009. He joined the company in 2005 as retail commercial director, and became product director in July 2011 when the company underwent a management restructure that saw the departure of online chief Gary McIlraith.

Prior to joining Ladbrokes, Ames held senior management roles at Dixons and Asda.


Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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