Richard Segal, CEO of PartyGaming Plc., owner of the world's largest Internet poker room, PartyPoker.com, will be leaving the gaming giant by "mutual consent" on or around June 1, 2006, it was announced today. According to a media release issued by the gambling group, Segal's resignation is a result of his and his family's unwillingness to relocate from London, England, to the Rock of Gibraltar, U.K., where PartyGaming is headquartered.
Since PartyGaming floated on the London Stock Exchange last year, Segal, 42, has been commuting weekly to Gibraltar from his home in London in order to facilitate the smooth running of the rapidly growing company. Segal and the board recently agreed that the CEO must be located in Gibraltar together with all the other executive directors, and Segal was offered the option to relocate. Following discussions with his family, however, he declined the board's request and will therefore be leaving the company. In refusing PartyGaming's offer, Segal is reportedly giving up options over shares worth about £20 million.
On his decision to leave, Segal said: "My time at PartyGaming has been one of enormous challenge and great excitement and we have achieved a huge amount in a very short space of time. The decision to leave has been very difficult given the success already achieved and the exciting prospects ahead."
He continued, "This is a very fast moving and dynamic industry and I am incredibly proud of everything that everyone at PartyGaming has achieved to further our progress and prepare the ground for even greater things to come."
Michael Jackson, non-executive chairman, commented: "PartyGaming's IPO and subsequent success has been due in large part to the leadership of Richard Segal, the Group's CEO. It is therefore with regret that we are announcing Richard's departure. On behalf of all the stakeholders we thank him for his substantial contribution and wish him every success for the future."
Segal was appointed CEO of PartyGaming in August, 2004. Since then, the gaming group has launched successfully on the London Stock Exchange and was subsequently listed on the prestigious FTSE-100 Index. Segal oversaw the strategic development of the business, including the highly successful introduction and cross-selling of blackjack on PartyPoker.com, the conclusion of the group's "skin's" strategy, and last week's joint launch of the Party-branded integrated platform and PartyCasino.com. Under Segal's tutelage, PartyGaming saw its revenues grow to $977 million in 2005.
PartyGaming has begun the formal process of identifying and recruiting a suitable replacement for Segal. According to Jackson, the company's location will affect the size of the pay offer required to attract a new CEO.
Editor's Note: The Rock of Gibraltar is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom located off the coast of southern Spain. It borders the Strait of Gibraltar, which links the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. As of July, 2005, its population was counted at 27,884. It is home to a variety of ethnic groups, including Spanish, Italian, English, Maltese, Portuguese, German, and North Africans. The official languages of Gibraltar are English, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.