William Hill’s new leadership team is confident of delivering the FTSE bookmaker’s ‘next chapter’ having closed a group-wide transformative 2017.
The bookmaker’s £238 million impairment charge on the value of its Australian business, dominated industry headlines last week, as William Hill Chief Executive Philip Bowcock presented full-year 2017 results.
Despite the Australian downturn, Bowcock details to investors that William Hill has undertaken critical decisions through its transformation programme, which will ‘strengthen the organisation for the long-term’.
Closing 2017 accounts, Bowcock states that William Hill has been successful at delivering its three strategic priorities in; ‘rejuvenating its digital enterprise, bolstering its omni-channel proposition and gaining significant growth within the US’.
Further positives see the transformation programme deliver on its year1 target of generating £25 million in group cost savings, which William Hill governance believes can be further expanded to ‘£40 million annualised run rate’.
Bowcock and William Hill’s executive team will seek to invest the group savings in initiatives that will deliver ‘the fastest profitable growth’.
William Hill’s 2017 results, saw Ruth Prior deliver her first corporate update as Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Prior who joined William Hill last October, from ‘FTSE100 darling Worldpay Plc’, has been quick to lay down her approach as group financial lead.
“William Hill is clearly going through its period of transition. But you cannot cost-cut your way out of this situation. From my experience, I believe that you have to face historic issues, reshape your cost-base, transform your talent pool and invest in marketing and technology”.
2017 has not only been a year of structural change for William Hill. The bookmaker has brought a number of fresh faces to its governance and senior executive teams ‘expanding the skillset of its leadership’.
This February, UK leisure and hospitality guru Roger Devlin joined William Hill governance as new Group Chairman, taking over from Gareth Davis.
Furthermore, Bowcock and Prior’s corporate strategy will soon be supported by former Betsson AB CEO Ulrik Bengtsson who will take on the newly created role of Group Chief Digital Officer.
Bowcock and Prior are confident that William Hill can ‘deliver growth in the pieces that it controls…Facing a number of 2018 headwinds, sector analysts and investors will monitor closely whether industry outsiders Bowcock and Prior can revive the sector’s sleeping giant.