The Rank Group Plc ("Rank" or "the Company") announces the appointment of Henry Birch, who will succeed Ian Burke as chief executive of Rank with effect from 6 May 2014. Ian Burke, who is currently also executive chairman of Rank, will become non-executive chairman with effect from 6 May 2014. The Rank board believes it appropriate to ensure that the Company benefits from some continuity to ensure a smooth transition of executive responsibilities.
Henry Birch, aged 45, is currently a non-executive director of the AIM-listed CFD trading platform operator, PLUS 500 PLC. Henry has more than 20 years of experience in the betting and gaming sector and in online and broadcast media. Most recently he was the chief executive officer of William Hill Online, the joint venture between William Hill plc and Playtech plc, which managed William Hill's online business. Prior to working at William Hill Online, Henry was the chief executive officer of Leisure & Gaming plc, an AIM-listed company that owned and operated a number of online and retail betting and gaming subsidiaries. Prior to working at Leisure & Gaming plc, Henry was the chief operating officer of Bettingcorp Ltd, an Israeli company focused on the development and operation of online and interactive TV gaming platforms. Prior to working in the gambling industry, he held management roles at Time Warner, Turner Broadcasting and Riffage, an early digital music operator based in Silicon Valley, and started his career working in the House of Commons.
With his track record in the online betting and gaming sector, the Rank board believes that Henry is well-equipped to lead Rank's continued exploitation of growth opportunities in the gaming and leisure markets.
The board would like to thank Ian for his commitment and hard work over the past eight years and is delighted that, after consultation with a number of its shareholders, the Company will continue to benefit from his significant experience in his role as non-executive chairman of Rank.
Rank confirms there is no information to be disclosed under the requirements of Listing Rule 9.6.13 in relation to this appointment.
The Rank Group Plc
Ian Burke, chairman and chief executive
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