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Amaya CEO Baazov Takes Paid Leave; Still Plans to Buy Company
David Baazov, the suddenly embattled CEO of PokerStars' parent company, Amaya, announced today he's taking a voluntary leave of absence from his position.
In a press release the company said that its an "indefinite paid" leave to "focus on preparing an offer to acquire Amaya" and to avoid being a distraction while he faces insider trading charges.
Baazov will stay on as a member of the company's Board of Directors.
"As always," Baazov said in a statement, "I continue to be dedicated to doing the right thing for Amaya and all its stakeholders.
"I believe that stepping down in the short term will help to avoid distraction for the company and its management while I vigorously contest all allegations made against me and pursue my bid to acquire the company.”
Gadhia, Ashkenazi Replacements
In Baazov's stead the company has appointed Divyesh (Dave) Gadhia as Interim Chairman and Rafi Ashkenazi as Interim CEO.
Ashkenazi is currently CEO of the Rational Group, Amaya’s operating business, which oversees both the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands.
As for Baazov's attempts to acquire the company, a "Special Committee" was appointed to determine whether a sale of Amaya is in the company's best interests.
At this point no official offer has been made by Baazov.
While recently going live in New Jersey to much acclaim, PokerStars also simultaneously implemented rake increases that agitated its player base even more after revamping its VIP rewards system late last year.
Amaya also recently shuttered the Full Tilt software and moved the entire player base over to PokerStars.