William Hill to merge online and retail in UK

The merger aims to streamline operations as part of the firm's recovery plan.
The merger aims to streamline operations as part of the firm's recovery plan.

William Hill has announced it will merge its UK online and retail operations as it also begins to close its Stockholm Gametek office

UK.- William Hill has announced a major restructuring within the company, merging its UK online and retail divisions in a bid to accelerate its recovery next year.

Racing Post has reported that current online Managing Director for the UK, Phil Walker, will take responsibility for the new single UK market division and that Retail Division Director, Nicola Frampton, will step down after ten years with the company. They will work together for an initial six-month transition period. 

The merger of the two divisions aims to mitigate challenges posed by the UK’s FOBT ruling last year and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic this year. William Hill hopes to see a strong recovery in 2021 by capitalising on a busy sporting schedule, which should include the UEFA European Championship postponed from this year. 

The company has already said when it completed its £224million book-build to raise working capital last month that it expected to see a drop in its retail footprint, with corporate growth being achieved through digital and through its US joint ventures. 

Frampton said: “It has been an absolute privilege to lead the retail team at William Hill. Our shops play a vital role in our success and I look forward to working with Phil on a handover plan in the coming months.”

William Hill CEO, Ulrik Bengtsson, said: “We will be immensely sad to say goodbye to Nicola Frampton when the time comes. Nicola has been with William Hill for ten years and has been a driving force on the executive team as well as being instrumental in reshaping and transforming our retail business.”

William Hill meanwhile has also revealed it has begun streamlining its operating structures with the phased closure of its Gametek office in Stockholm as part of its integration of MRG Group assets. It aims to entirely close the Gametek offices by the end of 2020. The company has reported that it will create 50 new positions at its tech unit in Krakow.

It said: “We’re adopting a team-based approach to product development in which teams are aligned to the business area they support. This requires us to structure the right number of teams, with the right skills, which means we’ve had to make some tough decisions about locations. Our intention is to close the Stockholm office by the end of the year, migrating the work and potentially in some cases colleagues to Krakow or Leeds.”

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