Playtech faces shareholder revolt

Shareholders want Playtech to continue its search for a new executive chairman.
Shareholders want Playtech to continue its search for a new executive chairman.

Shareholders are reported to be unhappy about the suspension of the board’s search for a replacement executive chairman.

UK.- Playtech is facing a revolt from shareholders over how it has handled the succession after Alan Jackson departed as executive chairman last year.

The Times has reported that shareholders are unhappy that the board suspended its search for someone to replace Jackson, instead opting to appoint interim chair Claire Milne on a permanent basis.

See also: Playtech considers move to the UK mainland

The FTSE250 group insists that it still intends to appoint a new chairman but was forced to temporarily suspend the search due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s interruption of standard governance procedures.

It noted that Milne had proven experience as a non-executive director at Playtech since 2016. She has led the company’s internal review on the compliance failings of Playtech’s former B2C subsidiary PT Entertainment Services, which was fined £3.5m by the UK Gambling Commission.

See also: Playtech in talks to sell financial trading unit

US investor Jason Ader, who holds 5 per cent of Playtech’s shareholdings through the New York investment fund SpringOwl, voiced shareholders’ frustrations. 

He said: “We do not support Claire Milne as the future chairwoman of Playtech. We believe there are better candidates to lead this company into US gaming markets and lead it in its various endeavours over the course of the next decade.”

Alan Jackson also received the ire of shareholders during his tenure as chairman. Shareholders complained about Playtech’s underperformance and executive pay. Playtech’s share price has halved since its high in 2017.

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