William Hill Appoints Philip Bowcock as Their Chief Executive Officer
After several months of searching, Philip Bowcock has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer at William Hill. This is an upgrade from the interim CEO position that he had held in the company since July of 2016. Previous to the abrupt change in his role, Bowcock was serving as the Chief Financial Officer for the company.
Gareth Davis, the Chairman of the company, said that since Bowcock was thrust into his temporary roll of Interim Chairman, he has taken William Hill into a better place.
He said, “Since his appointment as Interim CEO last July, Philip has driven the business forward at real pace and we have seen important progress across our Online, Retail and international businesses over that time. Our recent results show that William Hill is now in a stronger position and Philip has outlined a clear plan to continue that momentum into the future.”
To say that Philip Bowcock has an impressive curriculum vitae is an understatement. He joined William Hill Plc. as the Chief Financial Officer in November 2015.
Before joining the online operator, he served as the Finance Director for the Cineworld Group Plc., a position he enjoyed for nearly four years. Cineworld Group Plc. is the second largest cinema operator in Europe with nearly three thousand screens spread across nine countries.
Before joining Cineworld, he was the Finance Director at the Deltic Group Ltd., which was formerly known as the Luminar Group Ltd. The Deltic Group is a UK based private company with an estate of approximately 59 night clubs. It also has the largest square footage of nightclub capacity in the United Kingdom.
Bowcock has also had senior roles at Tesco and Barratt Developments Plc. He served as the Vice President of Finance at the Hilton Group at a time when the company owned betting giant, Ladbrokes Plc.
At the Hilton Group, he had spent nearly seven years. In terms of his field of expertise, he is a chartered management accountant.
Before appointing Philip Bowcock as Chief Executive Officer, James Hendersen was given the task of growing the operators share in the market. However, in mid- July of last year, the Board of Directors at William Hill Plc. decided to terminate the services of their CEO. This course of action was taken as the Board of Directors at the company were convinced that Henderson was unable able to capitalise on the growing online betting market in the country. Henderson, who joined the company as a trainee manager in 1985, was asked to leave his position immediately. This was only two years after he was given the title of CEO, ending his 31 year career with the bookmaker.
Shares in William Hill had declined 31 per cent in the 12 months before Henderson was dismissed. Hitting a three year low in June 2016, when the value of the company equity had dropped to about GBP 2.75 billion. To prove that people’s confidence in Henderson were at an all- time low, share prices had risen 6 per cent to GBP 29.20, right after the announcement of Henderson’s removal was made public.
William Hill Plc.
William Hill Plc., the London based bookmaker was founded against legal odds in 1934, when gambling was illegal in Britain. The company now operates worldwide and employs more than 16,000 people globally. The offices for the company were moved to Gibraltar in 2009 in a bid to avoid the high UK tax rates. Around the same time, the company also had to close most of their shops in Ireland. Their expansion into Italy and Spain remained fruitless because of the great recession. The company also placed a bid to enter the Indian gambling market. A more successful expansion only came their way in 2012, when William Hill took their business across the Atlantic and set up shop in the USA. William Hill also bought over three Australian brands, Sportingbet, Centrebet and Tom Waterhouse in 2013. These were later rebranded as William Hill Australia in 2015.
Meanwhile at home, William Hill was quick to embrace the changing habits of British gamblers. This included gamblers who had started using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to place bets online. Bets were also placed “in play” while watching sport like soccer on TV using the William Hill app. To start with, the bookie had introduced attractive products to match the demands of the new generation, but their lead vanished quickly and their apps failed to retain punters.
Nonetheless, the company did remain in the lead with traditional methods. With 2,370 bookmakers on the high street, they were still one of the leading providers for gambling services. This was especially true when it came to events such as traditional horse and greyhound racing and even gaming on land based machines.
The company has had an eventful few months since the dismissal of their former CEO. Right after the event, 888 Holdings and the Rank Group Plc. made a joint takeover bid to William Hill Plc., which was immediately rejected by the Board of Directors. William Hill also looked into a possible cross- continent merger with Canadian gaming company, Amaya Inc., but decided to back out of it in the end.