In a surprising turn of events, UK-based betting and gaming company Entain announced the immediate resignation of its CEO, Jette Nygaard-Andersen, who has been at the helm for nearly three years.
The board has swiftly appointed Stella David, a current non-executive director, as the interim CEO until a permanent successor is identified.
Entain did not disclose specific reasons for Nygaard-Andersen's sudden departure. The development follows the recent approval of a £585 million ($732.4 million) settlement related to alleged bribery offences at the company's former Turkish unit.
The settlement marked the conclusion of an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigation initiated in 2019.
During Nygaard-Andersen's tenure, the company navigated a challenging regulatory landscape, and she played a pivotal role in implementing a strategic shift towards regulated or regulating markets.
Entain's Chairman, Barry Gibson, acknowledged her contributions, stating, "Under Jette's leadership, Entain has executed a fundamental strategic shift towards regulated or regulating markets, overhauled its governance, transformed its operations, and significantly improved its customer offering."
He emphasized that these changes were crucial for the successful resolution of the deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) process related to the HMRC investigation.
While Entain shares reached a record high of 2,500 pence in September 2021, they have experienced a 35% decline overall since Nygaard-Andersen assumed the CEO role in January of that year.
The sudden leadership change adds an element of uncertainty to Entain's future direction, and the company will now focus on finding a permanent CEO to steer the ship in the coming chapters.