Betfair hires Corbett to mend fences with City
Betfair, the beleaguered betting company, yesterday made a further move to rehabilitate its battered image in the City with the appointment of Gerald Corbett, the serial non-executive director and City veteran, as deputy chairman.
Mr Corbett will step up to become chairman in the first quarter of next year, which will bring the company into compliance with the combined code on corporate governance.
He will replace Ed Wray, the company's charismatic, if somewhat controversial, co-founder who is currently at the helm and played a key role in the flotation.
The appointment of Mr Corbett follows the company's poaching of Paddy Power's chief operating officer, Breon Corcoran, to replace David Yu as its chief executive.
That was seen a smart move. Mr Corcoran had a key role overseeing Paddy Power's highly successful online offering and was seen as perhaps the best gambling industry candidate for the job of helping Betfair overcome a string of challenges.
They include a tough regulatory environment combined with intense competition, and City disappointment with the company's earnings and share price performance. The stock has fallen by more than 40 per cent from Betfair's £13 flotation price.
Mr Corbett, however, is not quite such an easy sell. He is greatly experienced and Betfair was at pains to point out yesterday that he had been a director of 11 public companies, four of them as chairman. However, while his career has certainly had its ups it has also had some deep downs as well.
On the plus side, he oversaw the sale last year of the Durex maker SSL International to the household products group Reckett Benckiser for £2.5bn, widely seen as a dream deal for SSL's shareholders.
However, he was chairman of Woolworths for six years following its demerger from Kingfisher, during which time the seeds of the once iconic retailer's eventual collapse under a mountain of debt were sown.
He also managed Railtrack, the track operating company, through a series of crises and ultimately resigned – with a controversial £1m payout – in 2000, not long after the Hatfield Crash which resulted in the deaths of four passengers.
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...