888, Codere & Allwyn: on the move

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With comings and goings commonplace across the industry, 888, Codere and Allwyn are among those to have bolstered their teams with key hires.


Allwyn has appointed Andria Vidler as UK CEO ahead of the company becoming operator of the UK National Lottery in February 2024.

Vidler will replace Robert Chvátal on October 1 who had been interim CEO since January, but will now go back as full-time Group CEO of Allwyn.

Commenting on her new role, Vidler said: “This is such an exciting opportunity to ensure The National Lottery, a hugely loved UK brand that delivers immense benefits to society, is in the best shape possible for the future. I can’t wait to get to work alongside partners and colleagues from across our Allwyn and Camelot teams to make this vision a reality.”

Chvátal added: “Andria’s experience of developing and managing compelling brands, content and campaigns that connect with audiences in a fast-changing digital environment made her the ideal choice for our new CEO.

“In her new role, she will not only be able to draw on the great talent we have in the UK but also all the advantages of the powerful Allwyn Group platform.”

Vidler departs 888 to join Allwyn, leaving her role as Chair of the ESG Committee, effective September 30.

Lord Mendelsohn, Executive Chair of 888, stated: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to congratulate Andria on her appointment to this new role and thank her wholeheartedly for the significant contributions she has made during her time with 888.

“Her support and extensive experience have been invaluable as we have continued our work to deliver against our long-term strategic objectives following the acquisition of William Hill. We wish her all the best for the future.”


Codere has made two additions this week, naming Luis Villalba as Chief Financial Officer and Sonia Carabante in the newly created position of Corporate Director of Commercial Strategy and Business Projects.

As CFO, Villalba will lead Codere’s financial strategy following its refinancing, and he replaces the outgoing CFO Óscar Fernández de Llano, who is leaving his position for personal reasons.

Bringing almost 25 years of experience in the financial field to Codere, Villalba previously held the position of Financial Director and Member of the Executive Committee at Deoleo Group

Joining as Corporate Director of Commercial Strategy and Business Projects, Carabante will lead key commercial strategy projects for the group, overseeing efficiency projects, transformation and implementation of local strategies and projects, and will play a key role in global oversight of the company’s marketing, CRM and product functions.

Reporting to Group CEO Gonzaga Higuero, Carabante brings more than 25 years of experience and knowledge to Codere, having previously worked at Cirsa in various positions including Director of Customer Intelligence, Efficiency & Productivity.


888 has appointed Alexis Zamboglou as Managing Director of UK & Ireland.

Zamboglou has been a part of the company since 2020, holding roles at William Hill of UK Strategy Director, Marketing Director and a dual role as UK Marketing Director and Managing Director for Ireland. He has also held marketing roles at BoyleSports, Ladbrokes Coral and Entain.

In his new role, he will be responsible for the 888sport, 888casino, William Hill and Mr Green brands across the UK and Ireland.

In a Linkedin post, Zamboglou said: “Hugely excited to get the opportunity to run the UK and Irish business, with some of the biggest brands in the globe in William Hill, 888 and Mr Green.

“Really looking forward to working across sports, gaming and marketing with some of the most talented teams in the industry and building on the success we’ve had so far in 2023.

“It’s been a year of transformation and foundation building for 888/William Hill but we’re now ready and revving to go for growth in both the UK and Ireland, underpinned by our continued and tireless work on player safety and our customer-first mission.”

Elsewhere at 888, Yariv Lavi has announced that he will be leaving his role as Director of Business Development.

Lavi said: “I’m excited to share that I’m leaving #888 this week after 13.5 years. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m so appreciative for the opportunity to have worked with such talented people.

“I’ve learned so much from my colleagues and managers, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done together. I’m also grateful for the chance to have worked for one of the best gaming operators in the world, and to collaborate with amazing partners across the industry.

“I’m excited to see what the future holds, and confident that I’ll be able to build on the foundation I’ve established at 888. Thank you to everyone who has made my time at 888 so special. I wish you all the best in the future.”


Sam Allanson has been hired by Rank Group as Chief Financial Officer of Rank Interactive.

Reporting to Group CFO, Richard Harris, Allanson will join Rank later this year from Entain, where he currently holds the position of Commercial Finance Director.

Allanson joined Entain in 2017 following the Ladbrokes and Coral merger and before the GVC acquisition. He has previously held financial positions at Ladbrokes and Sky.

Commenting on his new role, Allanson said: “Rank Interactive is one of the most exciting places to be right now in the betting and gaming industry, as the business continues to grow and play a larger part in the success of the overall Group.

“Drawing from my previous experience in the sector, I look forward to contributing to Rank Interactive’s ongoing success and to support the finance team in delivering the ambitious plans that Rank has for its digital growth. I am excited to be part of a senior management team with such a clear vision for growth.”

Harris added: “I am delighted to welcome Sam as we continue to grow our Interactive business. His experience in consumer-facing businesses, particularly in betting and gaming, will be extremely valuable as we continue to implement our strategy.

“Building our financial capabilities across the Group is an important cornerstone of Rank’s ambitions to excite and entertain our customers, a vision Sam shares with us.”   

Bede Gaming

Bede Gaming has appointed Dan Whiteley as Chief Technology Officer, 

Bringing 25 years of complex technology solutions and digital products experience to the role, Whiteley specialises in setting innovative technology vision and strategy for digital transformation, product engineering, architecture, IT service, security and operations.

Before joining Bede, Whiteley held senior leadership positions at Jugo, CTS and Flutter Entertainment.

Commenting on his new role, Whiteley said: “I’m proud to become part of Bede’s journey. It’s a company with proven strength in engineering excellence, and the potential to build upon Bede’s current capabilities is an exciting prospect. I’m looking forward to working with the team to deliver cutting-edge technology for the igaming market.”

Colin Cole-Johnson, CEO of Bede, added: “We’re thrilled to welcome Dan to the team. As CTO, he will be pivotal in driving our technology strategy, collaborating with all teams across the business to ensure Bede is an industry leader in innovative and cutting-edge solutions. 

“He will be an integral part of Bede operations, both internally and externally, and his extensive experience in technology leadership makes him an excellent fit for this role.”


Donna Cooper has been named as a Non-Executive Director for SkyCity, assisting the board in an advisory role.

The appointment is subject to approval by each regulating authority in every gaming jurisdiction SkyCity operates in, a process which can take months to complete.

If approved, Cooper will replace the retiring Sue Suckling as a Non-Executive Director on the board. Her experience includes over 25 years in the financial services industry, where she was most recently CEO of TSB Bank.

Based in New Zealand, she has also held roles for The Warehouse Financial Services Group, Baycorp (NZ) and American Express International.

Cooper is also a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and the Global Women’s Leadership Network. Until July 28, she will also remain Chair of the NZ Bankers’ Association’s Domestic Banks Group and a member of the NZ Bankers’ Association’s Governing Council.

SkyCity Chair, Julian Cook, commented: “Donna has extensive experience in the financial services industry, most recently as Chief Executive Officer of TSB Bank Limited where she has led the organisation through material transformation, significant regulatory uplift and growth in residential lending. 

“She brings diverse global expertise to the SkyCity Board and experience in building and managing strategic, complex relationships in public and private sectors. We are delighted that she has agreed to join the SkyCity board.”