OCTOBER, 2013: Headlines all over the online gambling industry read something along the lines of “Roger Withers Announces Retirement”. This is major news for the sector as Withers has spent the previous seven years in his role as the Chairman of online gaming software giant, Playtech, and his departure marks a watershed moment in the company’s history.
When the news that Roger Withers announces retirement breaks, Playtech lauds the career and contributions of this industry stalwart but also reveals that he will not be bowing out completely:
“Mr. Withers, whose seven-year tenure commenced with the company’s Initial Public Offering in March 2006, will be retained as an advisor to the company using his extensive industry knowledge to advise on strategic initiatives in the gambling industry.”
Playtech under Withers’s Leadership
Skip back to 2006, Withers’s inaugural year as Chairman: During his near-decade in this role, before the news comes out that Roger Withers Announces Retirement, the company experiences extensive growth.
In 2006, Playtech officially goes public and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. In the same year, the company expands its activities to Bulgaria. Between 2006 and 2010, Playtech extends its reach to Italy, Spain, Estonia and Serbia, among others, in addition to launching its sports betting offering.
2010 sees a string of integrations and acquisitions from Playtech, as it emerges as a forerunning multi-channel gaming solutions provider. Three years before Roger Withers announces retirement, the brand has become an industry leader via multiple licensees, including Ash Gaming, GTS, Virtue Fusion, Mobenga, PTTS, and Intelligence Gaming.
2012, one year before Roger Withers announces retirement: Playtech is listed on London’s Main Market and acquires top UK sports betting operator, Geneity. Finally, in 2013, just before Roger Withers announces retirement, Playtech acquires PokerStrategy, furthering entrenching its powerful hold on this market.
When Roger Withers announces retirement from Playtech, he speaks fondly of his time there saying that he was delighted to have played a role in the development of an amazing company from its AIM admission to a top 150 UK Premium-listed company, with nil debt and €1 billion of assets. He said it had been a privilege to serve Playtech and its shareholders over the last seven years and with the success of the business firmly established and set to continue, he’s happy to leave Playtech financially robust, in good hands and well placed to continue to serve its licensees, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders. He also went on to say that he was particularly pleased that Alan Jackson had agreed to become Chairman as neither he nor Playtech could ask for a better successor.
Playtech under Replacement Chair Alan Jackson
2013: Former senior non-executive director at the company, Alan Jackson takes the Chairman’s seat as Roger Withers announces retirement.
With four-plus decades in the industry under his belt, Jackson has served as an executive and non-executive member of several boards for listed private and public companies in the sector. He is also a member of the Remuneration, Audit and Risk & Compliance Committees in addition to chairing the Nominations Committee.
Since Roger Withers announces retirement, Jackson (70) achieves much in his position as Chair. September 2014 sees Playtech’s massive acquisition of Aristocrat Lotteries for a whopping EUR €10.5 million. In February 2014, Playtech acquires YoYo Games and, in June, Playtech announces plans to bring online forex trader, Plus500, into the fold.
Life since Roger Withers Announces Retirement
Today, two years since Roger Withers announces retirement, he still has considerable involvement in the industry, acting as Chairman of world-leading pool betting operator and technology provider, Sportech PLC.