Rank appoints O’Reilly as chief executive to spearhead digital push

Gaming and entertainment giant Rank Group has appointed John O’Reilly as its new chief executive, effective from Monday, May 7, and succeeding Henry Birch.

O’Reilly will step down from his position on the William Hill board to join Rank. He also was recently chairman at Grand Parade and previously led digital operations at Ladbrokes and as managing director of Coral Interactive, overseeing the online relaunch of the Coral brand.

“John brings a wealth of gambling industry experience, particularly in digital,” chairman Ian Burke said in a statement.

The move comes less than a month after the group issued a corporate profit warning, advising that its Grosvenor Casino and Mecca Bingo venues had been negatively impacted by adverse UK weather conditions in the first quarter.

The gambling group detailed a nine per cent decline in like-for-like revenue performance for its Grosvenor venues, while Mecca Bingo reports a two per cent revenue decline for the 13-week trading period to April 1.

Readjusting its market forecasts, Rank said it now expects to deliver 2017/18 full-year operating profits of between £76m to £78m, down from its previous target of £81m.