888 boss stands down after 14 years with group

Online gaming group 888 Holdings has said boss Itai Frieberger has stepped down after a near three-year stint in charge.

He has been replaced by chief operating officer Itai Pazner, but Mr Frieberger will remain as a director for up to a year to help ensure a smooth handover.

The move will see Mr Frieberger leave the group after more than 14 years, including eight years as part of the executive team.

He was also previously chief operating officer, having been promoted to chief executive in March 2016.

Mr Frieberger it had been a “tremendous honour” leading 888.

He said: “This has not been an easy decision to make; however, I feel that – after eight exciting and rewarding years as a senior executive in a dynamic global business – this is the right time for me to step back from the day-to-day running of 888.”

“The global online gaming industry has changed beyond recognition during this period but, despite this, the group has continued to achieve its strategic objectives and deliver for its stakeholders. This is down to the strength of our team and our outstanding technology,” he added.

Shares in FTSE 250-listed 888 fell 3% after the announcement.

Brian Mattingley, chairman of 888, praised the outgoing boss as being “instrumental in driving the transformation of 888 into one of the world’s leading online gaming companies”.

He said Mr Paznar was an “ideal successor”, having worked at 888 for the past 17 years.

Mr Paznar said he would look to build on his predecessor’s work and deliver on the strategy to continue driving improvements in technology and growing 888’s presence.

The group recently swung to a half-year profit, despite seeing a sharp fall in UK revenue as the firm was stung by a regulatory crackdown on the sector.

The group notched up a pre-tax profit of 60.1 million US dollars (£46.1 million) in the six months to June 30, compared with a 17.3 million US dollars (£13.3 million) loss in the same period last year.