BOOKMAKER Ladbrokes will today begin hunting for a new chief executive when Chris Bell, the man at the helm for the past nine years, announces his surprise resignation.
Bell will stay on until the summer when he will hand over to the incoming chief executive It is thought he will take a break from work before returning to an executive role at another licensed business towards the end of the year.
The 52-year-old leaves after a 20-year career at Ladbrokes which saw him work his way up from marketing director, latterly piloting the company through the challenges thrown up by the rise of internet gambling and the introduction of fixed-odd machines to betting shops.
The Yorkshireman will receive the remainder of his contract – worth just over £2m in 2009 – when he leaves in lieu of a payoff. Sources close to Bell said he had enjoyed a “long and successful stint” and “was looking forward to other challenges”.