888 denies link to Ladbrokes talks as chief executive Gigi Levy steps down

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The Independent Online

Gigi Levy, the chief executive of online gaming company 888, is stepping down "to pursue other interests" after six years in the top job.

Mr Levy will remain on the board of the group, committing up to half his time over the next six months to help find his replacement. In the meantime, Brian Mattingly, the deputy chairman and non-executive director, will "work closely with management on all aspects of the business", 888 said yesterday.

"Following very strong trading in the first quarter of 2011, which has continued into the second quarter, Gigi has decided to step down, leaving the company well positioned for the future," the company said in a statement.

Mr Levy joined 888 in 2006 and took over as chief executive the following year.

The company is currently in takeover talks with rival Ladbrokes. An initial offer of 70p per share was rejected by 888's founding shareholders and Ladbrokes is reportedly now considering whether to make a higher bid.

888 said yesterday that Mr Levy's move is not related to the Ladbrokes talks, which are "continuing".