Announcement of five senior management appointees points to the strength in depth within the group
11 November 2011
FACTS: In the wake of the resignation of COO Breon Corcoran, Paddy Power announced five senior management appointees that point to the strength in depth of the management team and also make a clear statement of intent in terms of future expansion.
ANALYSIS: The five appointees were:
Peter O'Donovan (34) as Managing Director, Paddy Power Online & Technology. O'Donovan joined Paddy Power in 2002 having obtained an M.Sc in Multi-Media Systems from Trinity College Dublin. Since then, he has held senior management positions in the group's online operations in risk management, eGaming and financial spread betting, and led the online development function from 2005 to 2009. In 2009, he was appointed Head of Online, with responsibility for all Paddy Power online businesses. In his new role, he will have overall responsibility for all online and technology operations, with the exception of Sportsbet in Australia, which reports to the CEO.
Sandra Thorpe (36) as HR Director, Online & Corporate. Thorpe is a new recruit to Paddy Power. Her previous roles include Head of HR, European Operations, Microsoft and Vice President, Organisational Development, Citibank, New York and London. She was also a partner in a consultancy firm, Level 4. She will have responsibility for the leadership of Human Resources for Paddy Power's Online & Corporate divisions.
Christopher Coyne (33) as Head of paddypower.com. Coyne joined Paddy Power in 2008 as Head of eGaming with responsibility for the online poker, casino, games and bingo channels. His prior experience includes Head of Propositions and Marketing in BT's Consumer Division, Head of Marketing at the John Lewis Partnership and various management positions at GE. He will now have responsibility for Paddy Power's Online Sportsbook, eGaming and Online Operations.
Eamonn Toland (41) as President, Paddy Power North America. Toland joined Paddy Power in 2007 as Head of Telephone Betting, having previously worked with McKinsey & Co and as an independent management consultant. As President, Paddy Power North America, and based in the US, he will be responsible for identifying and managing opportunities for Paddy Power in North America.
Aine Cuddihy (31) as Head of Investor Relations. Cuddihy joined Paddy Power as a Business Analyst in 2007, having completed an MBA at Insead. She had previously worked as a strategy consultant at The Parthenon Group in San Francisco and London. She was appointed as Head of Online Marketing Operations in 2010, with responsibility for online customer acquisition. She was previously Head of Online Games. As Head of Investor Relations, she will be responsible for IR strategy and interaction with the financial community, and will also work on key strategic projects.
DAVY VIEW: A couple of things stand out in yesterday's announcement. The first is the calibre and experience of those individuals given new roles within the group. Three of the team presented to the market at Paddy Power's investor day during the summer when investors got a better insight into what has driven Paddy Power's outperformance relative to peers in recent years. All displayed considerable expertise in their respective fields. The second thing that stands out is the appointment — for the first time — of someone whose sole responsibility will be development of the business in North America. Toland will be based there, suggesting a real ramping-up of new business development activity there. While the market has been aware for a couple of months that Paddy Power was going through the process of applying for a gaming licence in Nevada, this full-time appointment is a real statement of intent as to the potential the group sees in the North American market as a whole. Our overall stock view remains unchanged. We see considerable opportunities for the group to continue to expand in the coming years as more and more geographies regulate their online gaming markets. We retain our 'outperform' rating.