Corporate By William Hill PLC

William Hill appoints James Henderson as Chief Executive

The Board of William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) (William Hill or the Group) is pleased to announce the appointment of James Henderson as Chief Executive Officer of the Group, effective from 1 August 2014. He is appointed to the Board as CEO Designate with immediate effect.

James Henderson has been with the Group for 29 years and is currently Group Director, Operations, with oversight for the UK Retail business, Online, William Hill Australia and William Hill US. He will take over as Chief Executive from Ralph Topping who is standing down on 31 July 2014 after 44 years with the Group and six as Chief Executive.

Gareth Davis, Chairman, commented: "After an extensive and thorough review of both internal and external applicants, the Board is delighted to appoint James Henderson to the CEO role. His breadth of knowledge spans the whole Group, having worked in both the major divisions, overseen the establishment of William Hill US and, most recently, taken responsibility for William Hill Australia. His established relationships, both with the strong cadre of senior managers and within the wider industry, ensure he is the best person both to sustain the momentum William Hill has achieved under Ralph and to progress further the digital and international diversification of the Group.

"On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Ralph for his 44 years of service to William Hill and his exceptional contribution and achievements. As Chief Executive, he has provided strong leadership and direction during challenging times, built a market leading digital business, extended the Group’s international footprint and established a strong management team capable of sustaining that growth over the coming years."

James Henderson commented: "I am both delighted and excited to be taking on the leadership of William Hill during its 80th anniversary. Under Ralph as Chief Executive, the Group is in the best competitive shape I have ever known and he has created, in my view, an unrivalled team with an outstanding track record. Whilst we face challenges as an industry, there are also plenty of opportunities to keep strengthening William Hill by further diversifying our revenues and continuing to build a responsible, sustainable business."

Ralph Topping added: "I have enjoyed working with James for many years and am pleased to have appointed him to various important operational roles in that time. It is great to have seen him progress up through the business to the point of taking on the big job, the role of Chief Executive. As a "one company man" I am naturally a big supporter of William Hill and its people, so I really wish James and the rest of our management team all the success in the world in continuing to take the Company forward."

A video interview with Chairman Gareth Davis and CEO Designate James Henderson is available at and


William Hill PLC Gareth Davis, Chairman
Neil Cooper, Group Finance Director
Lyndsay Wright, Director of IR
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8918 3614
Brunswick Simon Sporborg / Fiona Micallef-Eynaud / Oliver Hughes Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Notes to editors

About William Hill

William Hill, The Home of Betting, is one of the world's leading betting and gaming companies, employing more than 17,000 people. Founded in 1934, it is now the UK's largest bookmaker with around 2,430 licensed betting offices that provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, gaming on machines and numbers-based products including lotteries. The Group’s Online business ( is one of world’s leading online betting and gaming businesses, providing customers with the opportunity to access William Hill's products online, through their smartphone or tablet, by telephone and by text services. William Hill US was established in June 2012 and provides land-based and mobile sports betting services in Nevada, and is the exclusive risk manager for the State of Delaware’s sports lottery. William Hill Australia is one of the largest online betting businesses in Australia after the Group acquired the Sportingbet Australia business in March 2013 and in August 2013, two of the leading online corporate bookmakers in Australia, offering sports betting products online, by telephone and via mobile devices. William Hill PLC has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2002. The Group generates revenues of c£1.5bn a year.

About James Henderson

James Henderson joined William Hill in 1985 as Trainee Manager and progressed through the Retail management ranks to become Operations Director for the Licensed Betting Offices (LBOs) in 2006. In 2009, he moved to Gibraltar as Operations Director for William Hill Online in Gibraltar, overseeing the Operational and Telephone betting teams. In 2011, he became Retail Director, UK and International, responsible for the LBOs and William Hill US. He was promoted to Group Director of Operations in 2014 when he took on additional oversight responsibility for William Hill Australia and Online. Mr Henderson holds personal gambling licences in the UK, in Nevada in the US and in the Northern Territory in Australia.

Read the full new release.