Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen resigned, the company announced on Dec. 13. In the US, Entain is best known as half-owner of BetMGM, one of the Big Three online gambling brands.
In the press release, Nygaard-Andersen said this is a good moment for her to step down because:
The Group is now safe, stable, and sustainable and I believe that this is the right time to move on to other business and career opportunities.
That “clean inflection point” she mentions is primarily referring to a Dec. 5 announcement from Entain (Entain PLC 916,80 +0,42%) about its deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
CPS prosecutes crimes in England and Wales, and it was pursuing Entain for “a failure by the Company to have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery in relation to its legacy Turkish-facing business.”
Entain sold that part of the business in 2017. Nygaard-Andersen didn’t arrive at the company until December 2019, when she joined its board. She served as a non-executive director on the board until January 2021, when she became the CEO.
This week, non-executive director Stella David will begin work as Entain’s interim CEO.
Meanwhile, BetMGM and its other joint owner, MGM Resorts International, had no statements about Nygaard-Andersen’s departure or David’s arrival.
Entain CEO During CPS Agreement
Perhaps it should have been more evident that a change was brewing at Entain, considering the last time Nygaard-Andersen’s name was in a press release was on Nov. 2.
That’s when she commented on the Q3 2023 trading update. In that earnings report, BetMGM’s share of the US online casino marketplace was only listed as 26% — not No. 1, as it could usually claim. DraftKings (DraftKings 43,53 +0,48%) now makes that assertion.
Plus, Nygaard-Andersen didn’t comment in the announcement about the DPA that will cost Entain £585 million during the next four years. The company also agreed with CPS that it would make a charitable donation of £20 million and pay £10 million for costs incurred by CPS and His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Many Theories About Entain CEO’s Resignation
Entain offered its official statement on Dec. 13 about Nygaard-Andersen’s resignation.
Meanwhile, Nygaard-Andersen hasn’t yet posted on LinkedIn about it. She frequently updates that social media account, as she did a week ago to congratulate BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt on that operator’s “progress in North America this year.”
BetMGM and MGM (MGM Resorts International 42,96 -0,74%) offered no statements.
So the internet started to fill the void.
Theories abounded from Entain shareholders being unhappy with Nygaard-Andersen’s merger and acquisition choices to blaming her for the 40% stock price drop that began in August.
A Nov. 28 article published by SBCNews said shareholders held her responsible for MGM no longer wanting to buy all of Entain.
Ted Menmuir wrote:
According to sources close to the group, the US casino giant is “not interested” in bidding for the whole of the UK group and instead will swoop for the outstanding 50% of the BetMGM joint venture that Entain holds when the UK group is eventually sold.