Business Irish

Monday 19 March 2018

Paddy Power executive is new CEO at Car Trawler

CEO Peter Jackson
CEO Peter Jackson
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The head of Paddy Power Betfair's Sportsbet business in Australia, Cormac Barry, has jumped ship to become the chief executive of Car Trawler.

His move was confirmed yesterday just hours after the new chief executive of Paddy Power Betfair, Peter Jackson, unveiled two top management changes, including a successor for Mr Barry.

Former Paddy Power chief executive Patrick Kennedy is the chairman of Car Trawler.

Mr Barry led Sportsbet since it was acquired by Paddy Power in 2009.

Mr Kennedy said that Mr Barry had an "outstanding record". He'll begin his CEO role at Car Trawler - the online car rental platform founded by brothers Niall and Greg Turley in 2004 and since sold by them - in April. He succeeds Mike McGearty.

Barni Evans, the chief commercial officer at Sportsbet, has succeeded Mr Barry. He joined that business in 2011 as its chief marketing officer. Before that, he was the director of marketing at Paddy Power. He's been with the group since 2001.

Mr Jackson, who took over from Breon Corcoran on Monday, has also appointed Dan Taylor as the chief executive of Europe, in a newly-created role.

He'll now be responsible for all the group's brands across all channels outside Australia. Mr Taylor was most recently the managing director of the company's UK and Ireland operations, and prior to that was managing director of Paddy Power's retail business.

Davy Stockbrokers said that Mr Barry's departure from Paddy Power Betfair is "unquestionably a loss to the group", but added that he would be leaving Sportsbet in "safe hands".

Shares in Paddy Power Betfair fell almost 3pc to about £85 in early trading yesterday in London, where the company is a member of the FTSE-100.

On Monday, Morgan Stanley downgraded Paddy Power Betfair, giving it an 'underweight' rating with a £75 price target, saying the group needs to address some "major strategic issues".

The brokerage added that there are "few silver linings" from regulatory changes in Australia.

While conceding that Paddy Power Betfair has strong technology and a robust balance sheet, Morgan Stanley warned that expectations for a significant acceleration in online revenue growth after completion of a project to put customer interfaces onto a single platform may not materialise.

Peter Jackson is the former chief executive of the UK arm of global processing firm Worldpay. He had only taken up that role in March last year, having previously been chief innovation officer at Banco Santander.

He was appointed a non-executive director of Betfair in 2013, and a non-executive director of Paddy Power Betfair in 2016, after the groups finalised a €10bn merger that year.

Mr Corcoran, once the chief operations officer at Paddy Power, left the business in 2011 and was appointed chief executive of Betfair in 2012. He was chief executive of the newly-formed Paddy Power Betfair for about 18 months when he said last summer that he was leaving.

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