William Hill’s finance chief Neil Cooper trades in horseracing for housebuilding at Barratt Developments

 
Suzie Neuwirth
Neil Cooper will leave betting firm William Hill within 12 months for Barratt Developments
Bookmaker William Hill yesterday said that its group finance director Neil Cooper is leaving after five years to join Barratt Developments.

Cooper is going back to his housebuilding roots, having previously held the role of finance director at Bovis Homes before joining William Hill.

His contract has a 12 month notice period, but his actual departure date will be confirmed in due course. William Hill will now start looking for his successor.

It is understood that the firm will hire headhunters to lead the search and will look at both internal and external candidates.

Chief executive James Henderson, who replaced William Hill veteran Ralph Topping last year, said that Cooper had “supported the group’s digital and international diversification”.

At Barratt, Cooper will replace David Thomas, who becomes chief executive next month.

Cooper leaves William Hill at a challenging time for the gambling industry, which is grappling with tax reforms, fierce competition and spiralling marketing expenditure.

William Hill also came under fire from the advertising watchdog earlier this week for using images of teddy bears and children to promote gambling.

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