LONDON Nov 28 Betfair named American
Alexander Gersh as its chief financial officer on Wednesday,
with the online gambling exchange expected to focus on cutting
its cost base in the coming months.
Gersh, who has been CFO at technology company NDS for seven
years, is the first major appointment by Betfair Chief Executive
Breon Corcoran since he joined the company in August.
Gersh starts work next week and replaces Stephen Morana as
Betfair CFO. Morana served as interim CEO before Corcoran
arrived and had already said he planned to leave the company.
Launched 12 years ago, Betfair operates an exchange that
allows gamblers to bet against each other rather than having a
bookmaker set the odds.
Corcoran, previously chief operating officer at Irish
bookmaker Paddy Power, will have the chance to set out
his strategy for Betfair when the company publishes its interim
results on December 13.
Betfair has already quietly trimmed the number of languages
it offers on its website, cutting around 50 people from a
workforce of more than 2,000.
It has also withdrawn its sports betting exchange in Germany
because of the tax rate and said this week that it was pulling
out of the Greek market because of regulatory uncertainty.
"Earnings come down, quality of income rises," Investec
analyst James Hollins said in a research note this week.
"This is the scenario being played out at Betfair (German
and Greek withdrawals) and we think that the thrust of the new
CEO's reworked strategy to be presented on 13 December is
effectively being leaked: exit grey markets and cut costs
accordingly," he added, retaining a "Sell" recommendation on the
Betfair shares traded 0.8 percent lower at 745.5p by 0845
GMT on Wednesday. They floated at 1300p when the company joined
the stock market two years ago.