Ladbrokes chief to step down

The chairman for the last 8 years of UK gambling group Ladbrokes, Sir Ian Robinson, is to step down from the position following the company's 2009 AGM on 15th May 2009. He will be replaced by Peter Erskine, formerly chief executive of mobile provider O2. Erskine will join the board of Ladbrokes as a non-executive director on January 1 2009.

Ladbrokes chief executive, Christopher Bell, said: "Peter Erskine's extensive international marketing background and experience of building brand-led businesses will be a big plus for the company. He was responsible for the transformation of O2 plc - the ex BT wireless business - into a leading provider of mobile services in Europe and helped create considerable shareholder value."

Robinson's chairmanship saw annual gross win more than double to GBP 1.3 billion in 2007, with the company expanding into Italy and Spain and on the internet.

His successor became chief executive of O2 in 2001 and, since the company's GBP 18 billion takeover by Telefonica in 2005, has served on the board of the Spanish telecoms operator, most recently as a non-executive. He has previously worked for BT, O2's former owner, Mars and Unitel.

Over the past few years, Ladbrokes has accelerated its push into online gaming.

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