Cottle Steps Down at L&W; Wilson Named Interim CEO

Barry Cottle (l.) is stepping down after four years as president and CEO of Light & Wonder, Inc., and Matt Wilson (r.), the head of the gaming division, has been named interim CEO.

Cottle Steps Down at L&W; Wilson Named Interim CEO

Light & Wonder, Inc. announced that Barry Cottle, who has served as president and CEO of the company— formerly known as Scientific Games—for over four years, is stepping down from his position. Matt Wilson, Light & Wonder’s executive vice president and group chief executive of gaming, has been appointed interim CEO while an executive search is conducted, while also continuing in his current role.

Cottle will continue serving the company as a consultant while the search is conducted for a new CEO. The company’s board has commenced a search process to identify a permanent CEO and has engaged a leading national executive search firm. The search builds on the board’s well-established succession planning process and will include both internal and external candidates.

“As we enter the next chapter of our growth journey as the leading cross-platform global game company, we are confident that now is the right time to make this leadership transition,” said Jamie Odell, executive chairman of Light & Wonder. “Our executive vice chair, Toni Korsanos, and I have worked closely with Matt for over 10 years, including most recently as he has successfully worked to turn around and reposition Light & Wonder’s gaming business for long-term growth.

“We are confident that his strategic insights, deep industry knowledge, rich experience and impressive track record make him the ideal person to serve as interim CEO during this transition period.”

“I am honored to take on the role of interim CEO during this exciting time for our company,” said Wilson. “With a streamlined organization, sharpened strategic focus and strengthened balance sheet, we are now better positioned than ever to capitalize on the incredible opportunities ahead for the business. I look forward to working closely with the rest of the leadership team in this new capacity as we continue to accelerate our progress as a sustainable growth company.”

Wilson joined the company in March 2020, just before the industry shut down due to Covid-19. He previously had spent 16 years at Aristocrat, where he oversaw a transformation of that company’s North American business under Odell, who was CEO of that company at the time. He ultimately went on to become president and managing director, Americas at Aristocrat.

Wilson was one of several former Aristocrat colleagues Odell brought to the company, including Korsanos.

Cottle became the company’s CEO in June 2018, after serving seven years as CEO of SG Interactive. During his time at the helm, he oversaw the company’s efforts to shed its lottery and sports betting businesses to concentrate on producing games for omnichannel distribution, and its subsequent rebranding as Light & Wonder.

“We thank Barry for all of his contributions to the fundamental reshaping of the company that has positioned it for continued success,” said Odell. “With our transformed balance sheet, continued strong business momentum and great progress executing on our capital allocation priorities, we see a tremendous opportunity to drive shareholder value.

“We look forward to working closely with Matt and the rest of the management team as we continue to execute on our strategic roadmap and deliver on our growth targets.”

Light & Wonder also today reaffirmed its 2022-2025 financial targets provided at its Investor Day on May 17.