Entain CEO Resigns Amid Investor Dissatisfaction, £585M HMRC Penalty

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Entain’s CEO, Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Steps Down

Entain’s CEO, Jette Nygaard-Andersen, has announced her resignation. This move comes after nearly four years at the helm of the online gambling giant. Nygaard-Andersen took up the position in January 2021 and will be temporarily replaced by interim CEO Stella David.

Dissatisfaction Among Investors

The resignation of the Danish executive comes amidst unrest among activist investors. Many are dissatisfied with the company’s recent performance and have questioned a series of failed acquisitions and missed opportunities.

Entain Pays Penalty to HMRC

Just a few weeks ago, Entain agreed to pay a penalty of £585 million ($729 million) to HMRC, the British tax authority, to settle historical bribery allegations related to the company’s former black market operations in Turkey.

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Entain’s Share Price Declines

Nygaard-Andersen took on the role shortly after Entain had rejected a takeover bid from MGM Resorts International, with which it jointly owns BetMGM in the USA. MGM’s proposal valued the company at £13.83 per share, or $8.1 billion. However, by Wednesday afternoon the value had dropped to just £8.43, even after a 5% increase following the announcement of Nygaard-Andersen’s resignation.

Internal Unrest at Entain

In recent weeks, the Financial Times has reported on “internal unrest” at Entain. This particularly concerns Nygaard-Andersen’s management, which is among the poorest recent performers for shareholder returns in the FTSE 100. The company has spent $2 billion on mainly regional market acquisitions under her leadership, many of which have performed poorly.

Stella David Steps In as Interim CEO

Entain has asked Stella David, a non-executive director, to step in as interim CEO until a permanent replacement for Nygaard-Andersen is found. Despite the challenges, Entain’s Chairman, Barry Gibson, praised Nygaard-Andersen’s “extraordinary leadership” during an “extremely challenging period”.

Sources: Financial Times, HMRC, MGM Resorts, BetMGM

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