Tuesday 21 November 2017

Paddy Power Betfair might not seek new COO as McCue departs role

Former Paddy Power chief operating officer Andy McCue
Former Paddy Power chief operating officer Andy McCue
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Former Paddy Power chief executive Andy McCue has announced he is to leave the newly-merged gambling giant Paddy Power Betfair, just two months after the €10bn deal was sealed.

He was serving as chief operating officer of the enlarged group, while former Betfair boss Breon Corcoran is chief executive.

It's possible that Paddy Power Betfair won't seek to replace Mr McCue, instead driving more reporting directly to Mr Corcoran.

Mr McCue (41) will cease to be a director from the end of April. That's despite the terms of his contract stipulating he must give 12 months' notice.

That notice period is under the terms of Mr McCue's new employment contract with Paddy Power Betfair, which only came into force when the merger was completed in January.

However, despite Mr McCue's departure, it's not believed there was any dissent at board level within the group regarding roles or any other functions.

Mr McCue is also being treated as a 'good leaver', meaning his share options with Paddy Power Betfair will vest as normal despite his departure.

However, he will be subject to certain non-compete and non-solicitation covenants for a period of 12 months after he leaves, meaning he won't be able to take up a job with a rival.

Mr McCue said yesterday that he was leaving in the knowledge that the enlarged group "will be greater than the sum of its parts".

"I have thoroughly enjoyed leading and working closely with a great team of people who have created a dynamic and successful business," he said.

"I feel now is the right time to pursue new opportunities and, in doing so, wish everybody in Paddy Power Betfair the very best for the future."

Mr McCue was paid a basic annual salary of €640,000, and a director's fee of €90,000 a year at Paddy Power Betfair.

That didn't include any performance bonuses he would have been entitled to. He was eligible to receive share awards of up to 250pc of his salary under a Paddy Power Betfair long term incentive plan.

As chief executive of Paddy Power, Mr McCue was paid a basic salary of €700,000 last year.

In 2014, under his previous role there, he had been paid a total of €872,000, which included a basic salary of €453,000.

Mr McCue, who's also a non-executive director of Hostelworld, was appointed chief executive designate at Paddy Power in September 2014 and assumed the role in January 2015. He had joined Paddy Power in 2006.

Mr Corcoran yesterday praised Mr McCue, saying that he had played a "pivotal and hugely constructive role" in the merger of Betfair and Paddy Power.

"As CEO of Paddy Power, he led the business strongly, embedding a new growth strategy which delivered record revenues and profits," he said.

Paddy Power generated revenue of almost €1.1bn last year - a record for the firm and 24pc higher than in 2014. It made pre-tax profits of €180m, which was 8pc higher than in 2014.

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