November 4, 2019 / 8:06 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Ladbrokes owner GVC picks former William Hill director as new chairman

(Adds details on chairman departure, background)

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Ladbrokes owner GVC on Monday appointed former William Hill director J M Barry Gibson as its non-executive chairman to replace Lee Feldman who has held the role for 11 years.

The appointment brings an end to a seven-month search for a replacement for Feldman, who along with Chief Executive Kenneth Alexander sold around 3 million of GVC shares last March, knocking them down by around 16%. Since then, GVC shares have risen more than 50% following profit forecast upgrades.

Feldman’s departure also follows the Financial Reporting Council’s revised corporate code implemented in January, requiring public companies to explain if a board chair has remain unchanged for more than nine years.

Gibson, who was also a senior independent director at Bwin.party Digital Entertainment, will move to GVC in February 2020 from Homeserve where he has held the same role.

It has been a volatile year for GVC which was fined 5.9 million pounds ($7.63 million) in July after the gambling regulator found its Ladbrokes unit had failed to implement safeguards against gambling addiction and sustained losses.

$1 = 0.7733 pounds Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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