NEXT month, Breon Corcoran starts work at a new global gambling empire -- one that probably needs a bit of the magic dust he sprinkled at his former employer, Paddy Power.
Mullingar native Corcoran joined Paddy Power in 2001 and was instrumental in its transformation from a betting shop chain to an online gambling giant. He was also involved in the bookies' expansion into the Australian market in recent years.
He joined the board of the company in 2004. Prior to this, he had worked in equities at JP Morgan, at Bankers Trust and had interests in a number of start-ups, including one at Quaggo.com
Two years ago, aged just 39, he was put in charge of the nerve centre of the bookmaking business as chief operating officer and boss Patrick Kennedy's right-hand man. His salary and share package at Paddy Power last year was worth about €4.7m.
Well ahead of any official announcement, the worst-kept secret in the industry was that Corcoran had been poached by British rival Betfair. The world's largest betting exchange had been on a protracted hunt for a new boss and rejected internal candidates in favour of Corcoran.
He starts work in August, after almost a year of "gardening leave", relocating from Dublin to the company's London HQ at Hammersmith.
One observer called the Betfair role "the toughest job in gambling," with regulation threats in some markets, tax and potential HR issues all to be tackled. Betfair listed with a price of €16 back in 2010; it was at €7.50 at close last week.
Corcoran's investments include Clevamama, the Irish online baby products company. He is a Trinity College graduate and got an MBA from the French business school Insead.
Sunday Indo Business