The Board of William Hill PLC has announced that James Henderson, an internal candidate who has been at the bookmaker for 29 years, has been appointed to their Board and will take over from Ralph Topping as Chief Executive Designate as from 1st August, 2014.
Topping will stand down after 44 years with the group, six of which he spent as Chief Executive.
According to Gareth Davis, the Chairman of William Hill which is Britain’s biggest bookmaker, Henderson came out “head and shoulders” on top of a list of approximately 14 “credible candidates” that included external applicants wishing to succeed Ralph Topping.
While Ralph Topping started off as a “Saturday boy” at a betting shop in Glasgow, James Henderson started off his career at the group in November 1985 at a branch of Mecca Bookmakers on Goldhawk Road in West London. Mecca Bookmakers later merged with William Hill in 1988.
Henderson remained with the company ever since 1985 and has taken on many of the roles that Topping himself had held while rising through the ranks. These roles included overseeing the bookmaker’s online business and retail division before he succeeded in getting the top job.
During a video interview, James Henderson revealed that his immediate priorities are to sit down with the team in order to discuss what the future looks like for William Hill, both from an organic point of view, building on the outstanding foundations that they have, but also looking at what opportunities could present themselves over the next two or three years.