Matt Wilson named Interim CEO in Light & Wonder leadership transition

Wizard Games, a subsidiary of NeoGames, has announced the appointment of Benedict McDonagh as Managing Director in a move to “take the studio to the next level”.

Light & Wonder is to begin the search process for permanent CEO after Matt Wilson was placed in the role on an interim basis following the departure of Barry Cottle.

Following an over four year stint as President and CEO of the former Scientific Games, Cottle, who was also a member of the board, has stepped down but will support the transition as a consultant.

L&W has tasked a “leading national executive search firm” in leading the search for a full time successor, with this planning process vowing to comprise internal and external candidates.

“As we enter the next chapter of our growth journey as the leading cross-platform global game company, we are confident that now is the right time to make this leadership transition,” stated Jamie Odell, Executive Chair of Light & Wonder. 

“Our Executive Vice Chair, Toni Korsanos, and I have worked closely with Matt for over 10 years, including most recently as he has successfully worked to turn around and reposition Light & Wonder’s Gaming business for long-term growth. 

“We are confident that his strategic insights, deep industry knowledge, rich experience and impressive track record make him the ideal person to serve as interim CEO during this transition period.”

Wilson joined the firm in March 2020 as CEO of Gaming, before which he enjoyed an over 15 and a half years across an array of roles at Aristocrat that culminated in him being responsible for the commercial operations of the Americas division.

“I am honoured to take on the role of interim CEO during this exciting time for our company,” noted Wilson. “With a streamlined organisation, sharpened strategic focus and strengthened balance sheet, we are now better positioned than ever to capitalise on the incredible opportunities ahead for the business. 

“I look forward to working closely with the rest of the leadership team in this new capacity as we continue to accelerate our progress as a sustainable growth company.”

Alongside this transition, L&W also reaffirmed its 2022-2025 financial targets outlined earlier in the year that sees a target of consolidated AEBITDA of $1.4bn by 2025, and $10bn of available capital to deploy.

“We thank Barry for all of his contributions to the fundamental reshaping of the company that has positioned it for continued success,” added Odell.

“With our transformed balance sheet, continued strong business momentum and great progress executing on our capital allocation priorities, we see a tremendous opportunity to drive shareholder value. 

“We look forward to working closely with Matt and the rest of the management team as we continue to execute on our strategic roadmap and deliver on our growth targets.”