Inspired Entertainment Seeks New CFO Amid Effort to Avoid Nasdaq Delisting

Inspired Entertainment is searching for a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) after Stewart F.B. Baker resigned from the position in December.

In the meantime, the gaming content creator has appointed Marilyn Jentzen as interim CFO and principal accounting officer. Inspired is best known for its virtual sports products, though it has also sought to revolutionize table games with its hybrid dealer format, first adopted by BetMGM Casino.

Additionally, Baker will continue to “serve” the company throughout 2024 to “ensure a smooth transition of his responsibilities.”

In a release, Brooks Pierce, Inspired’s president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said the company is fortunate to have Jentzen in the temporary role.

Marilyn is a strategic, results-oriented executive with proven success leading, developing and improving multi-national finance operations at publicly listed companies. She is well-positioned to support the continued execution of our financial priorities while the Board conducts its search for our new CFO.

Pierce added:

I’d like to thank Stewart for his many years of service and contributions to Inspired Entertainment.

Missing Financials Prompt NASDAQ Warning

Notably, the financial leadership change follows recent Nasdaq Stock Exchange communication threatening potential delisting.

According to the letter, Inspired’s failure to submit its third-quarter financials by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) deadline puts it at odds with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250(c)(1).

Weeks earlier, in November, Inspired announced it had found accounting errors related to the capitalization of software development costs under the US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in its records.

As a result, the company said it would need extra time to file its third-quarter reports and review and restate filings from Jan. 1, 2021, forward.

At the time, Inspired acknowledged “material weaknesses” in its internal controls and plans to address those shortcomings. However, the company said the changes should not directly affect the business.

Still, losing its stock listing would be a blow to investors. More significant, even, than the blow leveled after the Nov. 8 announcement, which saw the company’s stock drop 29.52%

Inspired has until Jan. 22 to either submit its filings or a plan to regain Nasdaq compliance. In the latter’s case, if Nasdaq accepts the proposal, Inspired would have until May 7 to regain compliance.

Presumably, much of Jantzen’s initial focus will be facilitating that return to good graces.

Legal Uncertainties Remain

Fortunately for Inspired, Jentzen brings over 30 years of experience to her role overseeing the company’s financial policies, accounting functions, and compliance activities.

Most recently, Jentzen was the founder and CEO of Innovative Impact Consulting (IIC), which offered consulting and interim C-level support. Before IIC, the Wharton MBA graduate held senior roles with International Game Technology (IGT), Thomson Reuters, and Deloitte.

While Jentzen and her team work on righting the ship, the company’s Board of Directors has launched the search to find Inspired’s next permanent CFO.

While shareholders presumably welcome the latest news, the company could still face legal action over its recent financial performance.

As Bonus previously reported, at least four law firms are investigating Inspired for possible federal securities law violations.

About the Author

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil (she/they) is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor, and a lead writer at Bonus. Here she focuses on news relevant to online casinos, while specializing in responsible gambling coverage, legislative developments, gambling regulations, and industry-related legal fights.
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