The Rank Group last week announced the appointment of Henry Birch to succeed Ian Burke as chief executive of Rank effective May 6. Burke, who is currently also executive chairman of Rank, will become non-executive chairman.
Birch is currently a non-executive director of the AIM-listed CFD trading platform operator, PLUS 500 PLC. He has more than 20 years of experience in the betting and gaming sector and in online and broadcast media. Most recently he was the chief executive officer of William Hill Online, the joint venture between William Hill and Playtech, which managed William Hill’s online business. Prior to working at William Hill Online, Birch was the chief executive officer of Leisure & Gaming, a company that owned and operated a number of online and retail betting and gaming subsidiaries. Prior to working at Leisure & Gaming plc, Henry was the chief operating officer of Bettingcorp Ltd, an Israeli company focused on the development and operation of online and interactive TV gaming platforms. Birch also held management roles at Time Warner, Turner Broadcasting and Riffage, an early digital music operator based in Silicon Valley, and started his career working in the House of Commons.
“With his track record in the online betting and gaming sector, the Rank board believes that Henry is well-equipped to lead Rank’s continued exploitation of growth opportunities in the gaming and leisure markets,” the company said.
The board recognized Burke for his commitment and hard work over the past eight years.
“The board is delighted that, after consultation with a number of its shareholders, the company will continue to benefit from his significant experience in his role as non-executive chairman of Rank,” the release said.