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Aristocrat stocks slump on announcement that CEO will leave

Thu, Nov 10, 5:34pm by Staff Writer

The announcement of the departure of James Odell as chief executive of poker machine manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure has led to a significant slump in the share price of the ASX-listed company.

Odell’s decision to retire is could prove to be a rather costly one with market fluctuations after the announcement wiping as much as $1 billion from the value of the company

Aristocrat’s shares dropped as much as 12 per cent to $13.36 on news that Odell was leaving, knocking around $2 million of his own shares, although by close of business Thursday they had rebounded to $14.67, 44 cents shy of where they were before the announcement on Tuesday night.

The company was at a loss to explain the sudden slump, but remain confident in the future of the gambling business,

“Jamie Odell will remain fully focused on leading the business over the coming months, and ensuring a seamless transition through to his departure from the business at the end of February 2017,” Aristocrat chairman, Ian Blackburne, said.

Blackburne confirmed that there was no other information to explain the share plunge.

Odell said the gambling company was a growth stock for investors after posting a bumper half-year result in May.

Trevor Croker will replace Odell but the company said that he will not be based in Australia.

“Trevor will relocate to the US in the new year to take up the CEO role,” said a company statement to the ASX. “In recognition of the fact that North America generates Aristocrat’s largest revenues and offers the business its most significant strategic opportunities.”

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