An Internet Bingo Legend Retires

One of the most well known names in the internet bingo industry has decided to retire. 888 Holdings Chairman Gigi Levy has decided to step down from his position at the well known company. According to new reports Levy has left the company well positioned for the future. In a statement to 888 shareholders Chairman Richard Kilsby stated, “After a difficult first half of 2010, the Company has experienced three consecutive quarters of growth. Following very strong trading in Q1 2011, which has continued into Q2, Gigi has decided to step down, leaving the company well positioned for the future. The Board would like to thank Gigi for his contribution during his time as CEO. Since the UIGEA ruling changed the industry, Gigi has been central to positioning 888 as one of the world’s most popular and leading online gambling companies.”

Levy will continue to help the company transition during the next six months. Levy plans to spend 50% of his time helping with the search for his replacement. Although 888 gave no reasons for Levy’s departure many in the media are speculating about the possible reasons for his leaving his position. The London Telegraph reported that Levy “has had various disagreements with the company’s founding shareholders, the Israel-based Shaked and Ben Yitzhak families, who own about 60% of the shares (in the company).” Reuters speculated that the reason for his departure was frustration over the sluggish takeover talks with gaming giant Ladbrokes. An 888 spokesperson told Reuters, “This had no bearing on the takeover talks with Ladbrokes, discussions are continuing.” The deal is worth about £240 million pounds. ($390,151,171.77 USD)

Surprisingly Levy will stay on the board at 888 Holdings even after his replacement is hired. According to the Telegraph article if Levy had been released from the board of directors one of the many companies under 888’s control, Wink Bingo, could have triggered a clause in its contract calling for a buyout worth £59.7 million pounds. 888 Holdings has formed a nomination committee to search for the next CEO and has engaged an executive search firm to aid the search. Levy had been with the company during some very difficult times. Levy had to deal with the enactment of the UIGEA in 2006 and the global financial meltdown. In spite of many problems Levy managed to keep 888 Holdings as one of the premiere gaming companies in the industry.