Per Widerström ‘the clear standout’ in being named as 888 CEO 

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Per Widerström has been named as Chief Executive Officer of 888, with the appointment to become effective as of October 16, 2023, and seeing Lord Jonathan Mendelsohn returning to the role of Non-Executive Chair.

This comes after Itai Pazner became one of a number of high profile exits from the group earlier in the year, with the gambling business detailing that he was “immediately leaving office” as both CEO and a Director.

Mendelsohn subsequently assumed the position of Executive Chair on an interim basis while the board searched for a permanent successor.

Aiming to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities in returning to his prior role, Mendelsohn has praised the appointment of an individual that “understands the power and exciting potential of the business”

The board, it was added, was particularly pleased with the recruitment of an individual that boasts a “strong record and reputation on governance and compliance”.

“We are delighted to be able to appoint Per following what has been an extensive and comprehensive search process,” Mendelsohn commented. 

“The board unanimously agreed that Per was the clear standout candidate to lead the group to build on the strong platform for growth and value creation that has been established.

“Per has extensive experience in both public and private companies, and a long track record with a proven ability to execute value creation plans. As well as being an energetic and inspiring leader, Per brings nearly two decades of highly relevant industry expertise into the role. 

“He has a strong and proven track record of driving growth and delivering transformation programmes at multiple leading online gaming businesses, and the board is very pleased to appoint someone with the skillset to deliver our objective to become a much stronger international multi-brand operator, leveraging our technology and data capabilities to drive an acceleration in growth.”

Boasting an extensive background that includes over 17 years of experience in the online gaming industry, Widerström most recently served as CEO of Fortuna Entertainment Group.

Prior to this, he held a succession of senior roles across leading online gaming businesses from 2006 onwards.   

“I am delighted and honoured to become the group’s new CEO. Following 888’s combination with William Hill, the group has a world-class portfolio of betting and gaming brands, an outstanding technology platform, and an exceptional team,” Widerström noted.

“Together these attributes mean it is exceptionally well positioned to become a clear global industry leader. It is incredibly exciting to be joining at such a key moment in the group’s long-term development. 

“888 has a clear and attractive opportunity ahead of it and I am very much looking forward to getting started and working with the rest of the team to build on the strong progress already made and achieve the group’s full and very exciting potential.”

Earlier in the month, 888 put a halt to discussions with FS Gaming that would have seen a number of appointments made to the gambling group’s board after the UK Gambling Commission warned of a potential licence suspension or revocation.