Marcus Evans Group | Worldwide Headquarters | American Offices | Latin America | European Offices | African / Asian Offices

Betfair’s losing streak

The betting exchange has managed to lose nearly all the executives that flotation was meant to help retain

Barely a week seems to pass without somebody senior at Betfair announcing they’re off. Yesterday it was Edward Wray, chairman, founder and 11% shareholder. He told the annual meeting that he, too, is preparing his exit, apparently because the company wants to tick every box in the handbook of good corporate governance.

Wray’s departure will take a while – a successor will have to be recruited and serve a short apprenticeship as deputy chairman. Even so, it’s a significant addition to a long list of departures announced since flotation less than a year ago.

The tally includes chief executive David Yu (going once a recruit can be found: the search is three months’ old) and Mathias Entenmann, chief product and services officer, who was flagged up in the prospectus as another key employee.

Then there’s Charlie Palmer, head of mobile; Robin Osmond, chief executive of financial betting exchange LMAX; Matt Carter, director of research; Lee Cowles, director of UK sports and gaming; and Andrew Twaits, chief executive of the Australian operation.

Investors, pondering a share price 40% below its float level, may remember the third of the four reasons given for going public. A listing would “assist in the incentivisation and retention of key management and employees”.

Yeah, right. To judge by yesterday’s meeting, public life seems instead to have created a bunker mentality among Betfair survivors – rarely a good sign. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds