Jette Nygaard-Andersen, who used to serve as CEO of gambling entertainment giant Entain, has commented on her departure from the company in a post on the social media platform LinkedIn. She left her position as CEO in December 2023, and, at present, Stella David is serving as interim CEO.
Nygaard-Andersen began by announcing her decision to step down and expressing gratitude towards everyone she has worked with since her appointment as CEO of Ladbrokes’ and Coral’s parent company in 2021. She commended Entain’s successful transformation into a company that adheres to “the highest standards” in terms of its operations, regulatory compliance, and innovation. In addition, she did not neglect to put an emphasis on how Entain has put the customer first.
The statement also touched upon the pandemic and how everyone working for the company ensured Entain’s success in confronting this significant challenge. Nygaard-Andersen continued, pointing out that the group currently employs 30,000 individuals across more than 30 territories worldwide. A focus was also put on the importance of innovation and its significance in the gambling sphere. The statement ended with Nygaard-Andersen once again thanking those she knew while she served as CEO and said that she will make the decision of what her “next executive opportunity” will be in the future.
Nygaard-Andersen painted an overall positive picture of her time as CEO, and a similar assessment was observed in statements by prominent figures in the company last December. Non-Executive Chairman Barry Gibson, for example, commented on her exceptional leadership and said that he was sorry to see her go.
Prior to her stepping down, however, Nygaard-Andersen was the subject of heavy criticism from activist investors who were displeased with the company’s lacklustre financial performance.
What the Future Holds for Entain
A major issue that contributed toward the mounting pressure placed on Nygaard-Andersen was the acquisition of STS Holding, a Polish gambling company, for £750 million. This was met with criticism and prompted Ricky Sandler, CEO of Entain shareholder and global investment management organisation Eminence Capital, to send an open letter to the company’s board of directors. He condemned the decision, described it as “destructive,” and pointed out that it had resulted in an 8% drop of the gambling giant’s stock price.
Another key point of contention that fuelled scrutiny among investors was Entain’s recent £585 million settlement of an HM Revenue & Customs investigation. The case revolved around a Turkish facing remote gaming business that GVC Holdings, as Entain was known previously, used to own until 2017. The Crown Prosecution Service determined that the company had failed to prevent bribery, and Entain was therefore fined for £585 million.
Ultimately, Nygaard-Andersen’s departure in December 2023 was received positively by the market, with Entain’s share price rising by 5%. The company’s shares grew a further 3% with the January 3rd announcement of Ricky Sandler’s appointment as Non-Executive Director at Entain, which suggests that things are looking up for the company. As reported by The Financial Times, Entertain has also left over 140 unregulated markets in order to ensure that its business covers only locations where it is possible for Entain to gain regulatory approval. Among the said territories are Antarctica, the Pitcairn Islands, the Vatican City, and other locations where Entain has reportedly not generated any meaningful revenue.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.