Betting Sites Owner Kindred Group continues with management restructure
Kindred Group, the company behind several large betting sites operating in the UK and in other betting jurisdictions, has reported that more of its senior executives are stepping down. The Swedish betting firm has recently seen a number of top brass personnel resigning following a review of its marketing and financial operations. The results appear to have shown that a restructuring of the company’s leadership and management is urgently required, as Kindred’s Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Commercial Officer have both announced they will be leaving their posts. Kindred’s betting sites include popular and well-known brands such as Unibet, 32Red, and bingo.com.
CMO Elen Barber and CCO Anne-Jaap Snijders are both professionals with a significant amount of experience. Barber has spent 13 years at Kindred, having climbed the career ladder from Global Affiliate Manager towards Marketing and Advertising, and has spent 4.5 years so far as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Affiliate Manager at Kamay Holdings LTD, and as PR Manager for APP Holdings. Snijders has spent almost 11 years at Kindred, working as Head of Western Europe and, for the past 4 years, as Chief Commercial Officer. He has vast experience of the betting and gaming industry, having worked at other betting sites and land-based betting providers such as Casino Blankenberge, Relax Gaming Ltd, and Unibet (where he held the positions of General Manager Australia, Head of Western Europe, and Spokesperson Benelux). He also has experience of the sports industry, having worked at PSV and Voetbal International.
Both Barber and Snijders were involved in Kindred’s comprehensive review of commercial and marketing operations together with the former CCO of the company Nils Andén, who is the current acting CEO. The review took a long time and was conducted for most of the second half of 2022. The report by Kindred reads that, at the end of the review, both senior company officials have decided to leave the company as soon as Autumn 2023.
On hearing the news, industry experts, who are familiar with Kindred’s operations and the running of its betting sites, immediately connected the departure of Snijders and Barber with those of Chief Executive Officer Henrik Tjärnström and Chief Financial Officer Johan Wilsby, who both announced last week that they would be stepping down. Tjärnström, who had been with Kindred for over 20 years, stepped down with immediate effect, and Wilsby will be resigning in autumn 2023. Kindred, however, has confirmed that the resignations are unrelated, and the company commented on the resignations:
“Both AJ and Elen have made huge contributions to Kindred’s success over the last decade and we thank them for their dedication and leadership.”
Barber commented on her resignation as follows:
“I’m proud to have played my part in Kindred’s success over the past 13 years. Our fantastic global marketing team has built a solid foundation upon which Kindred can continue to grow in competitive and exciting markets. It’s now the right time for me to move on to fresh opportunities ahead.”
Snijders also released a statement about his stepping down:
“I had a great time at Kindred. It has been a fantastic journey working out of the Sydney, Malta and Amsterdam office with extremely talented colleagues. The pinnacle was to receive the Dutch license and building up market leadership with the local teams.”
While the exact reasons why the two executives left have not been announced, those in the know have commented that this may have something to do with a potential merger, or even an acquisition, of the company later on in the year. Indeed, such an idea was floated last year when the future of the company and its betting sites was being discussed by the board, however at the time there was little interest in a sale. The comprehensive review carried out since then, however, may have been a preparation for a potential deal, and an attempt to show prospective interested parties what the company has to offer. Names floated as potential buyers include large betting sites owners Entain, 888, and Tipico, as well as some private equity firms. Indeed, the board is known to have approached these companies in order to gauge interest, but the time was not right to strike a deal. Now, however, things may be changing, especially because of a number of factors coming into play. These include poor performance in Q4 2022, and pressure from investors such as Corvex Management who hold 15% stake in Kindred.
As a result, Kindred announced that a review of strategic alternatives will be carried out by the company in order to explore the various options available for the future of its betting sites. It may be the case that all those who resigned from the company have insider knowledge of a potential merger or acquisition and have decided to leave ahead of it, however at these stage these are simply speculations.