William Hill appoint new finance director

Bovis Home exec to replace Simon Lane

UK gambling giant William Hill plc has announced the appointment of Neil Cooper as its new group finance director.

Cooper is currently group finance director for Bovis Homes, and prior to that worked at Whitbread plc for eight years. He will replace Simon Lane, who is to leave the company next year after nearly four years in office.

A company spokesman said that Lane had decided to move in search of a fresh challenge. The move comes after the betting and gaming company's GBP 350 million rights issue seven months ago and GBP 300 million bond deal earlier this month.

Chairman Charles Scott in a statement thanked Lane for his "significant efforts" in helping to strengthen William Hill's balance sheet this year. He went on to say he is delighted that Cooper will be joining the firm's board, and pointed to his "highly relevant experience, both in the leisure sector and in terms of managing the financial aspects of a complex, multi-site business."

Cooper's start date hasn't been set yet and Lane will stay on in his role for the time being, the company said.

The William Hill spokesman additionally revealed that the company has created a new role of brand and marketing director that will be taken by Kristof Fahy, who is joining from Yahoo! Inc., where he was vice president of international marketing.

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