The Stars Group, known as international big-hitter in the gaming and online gambling world, has announced it has appointed industry guru, John Schappert to its board of directors. Schappert has joined the company’s international management team as an independent director and a member of the board’s compensation and technology committees.
A Long and Distinguished Career
Few can boast the wealth of industry experience Schappert brings as he enters The Stars group, having first made an impact on the industry when he co-founded Tiburon Entertainment, the video game development studio. During the early part of his career, Schappert occupied the position of Corporate Vice President Microsoft Corporation’s Interactive Entertainment Business unit in addition to serving as Chairman and Chief Executive at both EA and Zynga.
Currently, Schappert serves as Chief Executive and Chairman for the video game software developer, Shiver Entertainment, (since 2012) and as Chairman for developers, Motorsport Games, and Pipeworks Studios.
Extensive Management Reshuffling
Schappert has been appointed in the midst of a much broader shift within the top management structures of Star Group’s international division.
For example, Asaf Noifeld, has vacated his position as Director of Product and Innovation and taken over as Managing Director of Casino. Notfield has replaced Bo Wanhammer, Mr. Green Chief Executive, who has been moved into a strategic advisory position for all international business. Meanwhile, Severin Rasset, former Director of Poker Innovation and Operations, has assumed the role of Managing Director and Commercial Officer of Pokers. Also, the new President of the International Unit and now reporting directly to Rafi Ashkenazi – Stars Chief Executive – is Gino Appiotti, who, since joining the group in 2011 has occupied different senior roles in the firm.
International Revenue Dip
It should come as no surprise that The Stars Group has introduced these managerial shifts at the same time as releasing its six-month results for the period ending 30 June 2019. While these results show a 51.4% increase in revenue for the period (up to US$1.22 billion from US$804.4 million in the same period last year) the showing of the company’s international business division has been less than impressive. As the group’s principal revenue producer, which covers operations outside of the United Kingdom (Sky Betting and Gaming) and Australia (William Hill Australia and CrownBet), their 9.5% year-on-year decline to US$662.5 million can only be viewed as disappointing. Furthermore, all other sectors experienced a decline over the first half of the year, even as betting revenue increased by 5.5%.
Perhaps a managerial reshuffle is just what the firm needs to turn the fortunes of its international division around.