London-based 888 Holdings has announced that CEO Itai Pazner has stepped down with immediate effect and that the company has temporarily suspended its VIP activities in the Middle East.
888 Holdings shakes up leadership and operations in Middle East
Without revealing the reason for Itai Pazner’s departure, 888 Holdings announced on Monday that Pazner has resigned from his position as CEO and director, effective immediately. Non-executive Chair, Lord Mendelsohn, will serve as interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement. Lord Mendelsohn will also assume the role of Executive Chair.
“On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Itai for his significant contributions to the business over more than 20 years, including the last four as CEO,” remarked Lord Mendelsohn. “Itai has played a very important role in building a business with powerful proprietary technology, and has overseen successful early stages to the William Hill integration process. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”
On the same day, 888 Holdings announced the suspension of VIP operations in the Middle East for reasons related to KYC and AML compliance. While further internal investigations are underway, the Board has taken the decision to suspend VIP customer accounts in the region, effective immediately,” said the company.
This announcement followed an internal compliance review which found that company was not employing the best practices regarding KYC and AML processes. The VIP business in the region is estimate to have accounted for less than 3 per cent of group revenue. Whether there is a link between both events is as of yet unknown.
“The Board and I take the Group’s compliance responsibilities incredibly seriously. When we were alerted to issues with some of 888’s VIP customers, the Board took decisive actions,” Lord Mendelsohn remarked on this issue. “We will be uncompromising in our approach to compliance as we build a strong and sustainable business.”
In related news, there has been a postponement of CFO Yariv Dafna’s departure from the company. Dafna will be departing at the end of the year following CEO Itai Pazner’s departure.
Shares in 888 Holdings plc. (LSE:888) were down 23.14 per cent at 79.32 pence per share in London Monday morning.