Ladbrokes recruits William Hill man to run digital unit

LONDON Wed May 1, 2013 5:28am EDT

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LONDON May 1 (Reuters) - British bookmaker Ladbrokes has hired Jim Mullen from William Hill to run its online operations as it tries to make up lost ground on its larger rival in the sector.

Ladbrokes' attempts to galvanise its digital business are borrowing heavily from the success enjoyed by market leader William Hill, which entered the FTSE 100 index of leading companies on Wednesday.

Mullen will have the title of director, digital when he starts work in November, Ladbrokes said on Wednesday. He worked as chief operating officer at William Hill's online operations.

Ladbrokes has formed a partnership with software developer Playtech to develop its online business, a fast expanding part of the gambling market. The companies launched a digital marketing services operation on Wednesday, to be based in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

Mullen knows Playtech well from his time at William Hill. The two companies ran an online joint venture until William Hill paid 424 million pounds ($659.91 million) for full control last month.

Ladbrokes issued a profit warning last month after a poor performance from horse racing and online gaming in the first three months of the year.

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