British bookmaker William Hill names Roger Devlin as next chairman

British bookmaker William Hill names Roger Devlin as next chairman
FILE PHOTO: A branded sign is displayed outside a William Hill betting shop in London, Britain July 25, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo
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(Reuters) – British bookmaker William Hill <WMH.L> said on Wednesday it named Roger Devlin as its chairman-designate, who will take over from Gareth Davis in April.

The appointment comes at the end of a detailed search process for picking a successor for Davis, who had indicated he would step down after the 2018 AGM.

Davis, who also chairs Wolseley Plc <WOS.L> and DS Smith Plc <SMDS.L>, has seen William Hill walk out of talks on two potential deals in the last year including a three-way merger with bingo hall operator Rank Group Plc <RNK.L> and 888 Holdings Plc <888.L>.

Media reports had also suggested that Davis came under attack from the company’s investors over failed merger talks with the Canadian company.

The appointment caps a year of management transitions in the company, which named a new CEO and CFO in March.

Devlin is also chairman of British pubs company Marston’s Plc <MARS.L> since September 2013.

Devlin will join the board on Feb. 1 and will start as chairman on April 2, when Davis steps down.

(Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Sunil Nair)

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