GVC Holdings Boosts Board With U.S. Expertise

And feisty shareholders reject Directors’ remuneration report at 2018 AGM

GVC Holdings PLC has appointed Virginia McDowell to the Company’s Board as an independent non-executive director with immediate effect.

McDowell has 35 years of experience working in the US gaming industry and is the current Vice Chairperson of Global Gaming Women, a non-profit organisation with a mission to support, inspire and influence the development of women in the gaming industry through education and mentoring.

She spent almost a decade with Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. in the U.S. serving in senior positions, the last of which was President and CEO. Prior to her tenure at Isle of Capri, McDowell was chief information officer at Trump Entertainment Resorts and Senior Vice President of operations, sales and marketing at Argosy Gaming Company.

Lee Feldman, GVC’s Chairman, commented: “I am very pleased to welcome Virginia to the Board. She brings extensive experience in gaming operations and strategy at significant scale. Her perspectives on the US market should prove invaluable as we pursue the potential in the US for significant expansion in the regulated sports betting market and online gaming as well as bring a fresh US perspective to our activities in other markets.”

Other changes to the board include Will Whitehorn stepping down as a non-executive director. Whitehorn is succeeded by Stephen Morana, an existing non-executive director and Chairman of the Audit Committee, who will serve as the new Senior Independent Director.

In related news, Resolution 2 on the company’s 2018 Annual General Meeting was defeated by the shareholder’s vote.

The resolution asked for approval of the Directors’ remuneration report for 2017, an echo of similar scenes in other big corporates where shareholders have rallied against large executive remuneration packages and rewards (see previous InfoPowa reports).

GVC’s Remuneration Committee Chair, Jane Anscombe said:

“The Remuneration Committee notes and is of course disappointed by the vote on Resolution 2.

“We acknowledge this feedback and thank those shareholders who have already spoken with us and explained their reasons for not being able to support this resolution. We have sought to balance the views we have heard from shareholders with the clear need to appropriately reward and retain our successful management team, and we are committed to continuing this dialogue with our shareholders.”

In addition shareholders voiced their concerns on Resolution 10 relating to the re-election of Peter Isola as a director and his perceived independence.

GVC’s Chairman, Lee Feldman said:

“The Board has been made aware through communications during the voting process of shareholder concerns relating to Peter Isola’s perceived independence. To address these concerns Peter will step down with immediate effect from the Remuneration Committee and we will engage with dissenting shareholders on this issue after we have reviewed the voting analysis.”