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Sportingbet CEO departs – where to next for Sullivan?

Tue, May 6, 5:24pm by Dominic Ciconte

Michael SullivanAFTER more than a decade of building into one of the most successful online bookmakers in the country, CEO Michael Sullivan has parted ways with the company.

Following reports that UK giant William Hill was looking to make changes to its Australian management last week, the move was made over the weekend – one that both parties are calling amicable.

In joint statements yesterday, both Sullivan and Sportingbet were full of praise for each other.

The online bookmaker said that Sullivan had played a pivotal role in developing the corporate bookmaking industry in Australia

“It was always agreed that we would mutually review the situation after the first year and having overseen the integration, both William Hill and Michael believe the time now is right for him to pursue other challenges,” the statement said.

Sullivan said he was satisfied with the move and with his time at Sportingbet.

“They’re a great company and I wish them all the best. All parties are happy,” he said.

One reason why Sullivan may seem so satisfied is because of a reported bonus he was supposedly entitled to from William Hill.

When William Hill purchased Sportingbet and Centrebet in 2012 for the tidy sum of $660 million, it was agreed that after a review, as many as four directors would receive a bonus as high as $25 million if the company reached performance expectations.

After a number of meetings over the past fortnight, a number of industry insiders are reporting that both Sullivan and William Hill arrived at a fair settlement.

Group Director of Operations for William Hill, James Henderson, will step in as temporary Australian CEO while a replacement for Sullivan is sought.

Where to next for Sullivan?

The smart money has him at the top of the shopping list for Matthew Tripp’s re-launched company Easybet, or, he could find himself at, another UK online bookmaker making its move into Australia, seemingly in need of some local experience to set up in the new market.

AustralianGambling will keep an eye on the proceedings.

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