Christopher Bell leaves XLMedia and Rank to join Codere

Codere has agreed on the proposal for appointing Christopher Bell as an Independent Director, acting as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Group.
Image source: Codere

The Board of Directors of Nueva Codere has agreed on the proposal for appointing Christopher Bell as an Independent Director, acting as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Group.

As a result of his new role at Codere, Bell will be stepping back from his Non-Executive Chair and Non-Executive Director roles at XLMedia PLC and Rank Group PLC respectively with immediate effect.

The Codere position will be subject to the approval of the shareholders’ general meeting on February 7, in which the Group will resolve the construction of its Board of Directors and promote the business plan for this new stage.

At Codere, Bell will utilize his extensive senior board skills alongside a deep knowledge and extensive experience in the gambling and sports betting industry to provide value at this new stage of the company.

Commenting on his new role, Bell said: “Codere has demonstrated over the past 40 years its fundamental strength, versatility, and leadership. It is exciting to be a part of this project and promote this new stage that the company has initiated, on its way back to a growth path and consolidation as a leading multinational in the private gambling industry.

“I am truly honored for the trust placed in me and committed to the creation of value after this difficult period. The company has a management team and talent that will undoubtedly encourage its promising potential.”

As previously mentioned, Bell will also be stepping down from his role as Non-Executive Chair of XLMedia and as Non-Executive Director of Rank Group with immediate effect.

Bell spent nearly eight years as Chair of XLMedia, supporting the company through its IPO in 2014, helping it deliver several successful strategic acquisitions, as well as providing support throughout its recent business restructuring.

Commenting on his departure from XLMedia, Bell said: “It has been a privilege to chair XLMedia for almost eight years. 2022 marks the beginning of a leaner Group structure set to benefit from significant progress made in rebalancing the Group to have a greater focus on regulated high-growth markets like US Sports.

“It feels like the right time to step aside and let someone new support the business through its next phase of growth. I wish everyone in the Company and its shareholders every success for the future.”

Julie Markey, Non-Executive Director, stated: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Chris for his significant contribution, dedication, and commitment to XLMedia in his role as Chair and we wish him well in all of his future endeavors.”

Stuart Simms, CEO of XLMedia, added: “We are very grateful to Chris for his exceptional service to XLMedia. I would like to personally thank him for his practical support and wise counsel.

“Chris has been very supportive as we have sought to restructure to become more agile and align the business with new growth markets – an initiative we will complete during the first half of this year – as well as integrating three hugely successful US acquisitions, which we believe will be pivotal to our long-term success.”

At Rank, Karen Whitworth has been appointed Senior Independent Director with immediate effect.

Alex Thursby, Chair of Rank, commented: “On behalf of Rank I would like to thank Chris for his valuable contribution as the Senior Independent Director for the past six and a half years. Chris leaves the Rank Board with our best wishes.”

Bell is currently Non-Executive Chair of Team17 Group PLC, OnTheMarket PLC, and a NED of The Royal Airforce Charitable Trust.

Joining in 1991, Bell worked at Hilton Group PLC/Ladbrokes PLC for nearly two decades, becoming part of its Board of Directors from 2001 to 2006 when he then acceded to the position of CEO of Ladbrokes PLC following the sale of the Hilton Hotels division, until 2010.

Before Ladbrokes, he was recruited to Allied Lyons PLC as a graduate trainee, holding many senior roles during his 12 years there.

Since 2009, Bell has held other senior non-executive roles, notably Chairman of Game Group PLC and Techfinancials PLC; Senior Independent Director of Quintain Estates and Development PLC; and NED Spirit Pub Company PLC and Gaming Realms PLC.