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Scientific Games Names Isaacs as CEO

In what was gaming’s worst-kept secret, Scientific Games has named longtime gaming supply executive Gavin Isaacs as its new CEO, charged with leading the company following its acquisition of WMS Gaming.

Lottery and casino gaming supply giant Scientific Games has named Gavin Isaacs, the longtime Bally executive and SHFL entertainment CEO, as its new chief executive officer.

Isaacs replaces David Kennedy, who has held the CEO post on an interim basis since November, when the company completed its acquisition of slot manufacturer WMS Industries. Kennedy will remain at Scientific Games as executive vice chairman.

Isaacs, 49, was most recently CEO of SHFL entertainment, which was the subject of the other big merger last year when it was acquired by slot and system manufacturer Bally Technologies. Prior to that, he was chief operating officer of Bally for four years. He also was president of Aristocrat Technologies for seven years, during which time he led the first surge of Aristocrat’s slot sales in the U.S.

Isaacs also served as head of global marketing and business development for Aristocrat parent Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., as well as managing director of Aristocrat’s London-based subsidiary. He is a trustee and former president of the International Association of Gaming Advisors.

“Gavin is a very talented and seasoned gaming industry executive with the necessary skills to lead our company to the next level of growth and performance,” said Ronald O. Perelman, chairman of Scientific Games. “He has an impressive track record of success and is recognized for his dynamic leadership. We believe his focus on customer relationships, strategic thinking and expertise in growing innovation-focused businesses make him the ideal choice to lead our efforts to achieve greater profitability and increased cash flow.

“We extend our thanks and appreciation to David for stepping up to lead the company during the last six months and work with the board to facilitate the CEO succession. We were fortunate to have a leader of David’s stature and experience at such an important time, and we are pleased that he will continue to serve the company and our stockholders as executive vice chairman.”

“I am tremendously enthused to join the company at this exciting and challenging time and lead the business to the next level,” said Isaacs. “Scientific Games has a skilled worldwide organization that is focused on improving performance and growth. In collaboration with the entire Scientific Games team, I look forward to working together as we concentrate on creating and distributing innovative products and services to our customers, completing the integration of WMS and enhancing stockholder value.”

Shares of Scientific Games rose 11 percent to $10.18 following the news of Isaacs’ hiring.