U.K.’s largest Bookmaker, William Hill, last week revealed that Ralph Topping, its current Chief Executive Officer, would continue leading the group until at least the end of 2015.
Topping said that despite the fact that he had expected to step down at the end of 2013, he would continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer of William Hill for another two years at least.
William Hill’s board is thrilled that Topping intends remaining with the group for the coming years while they continue examining options both internally and externally for a successor for the chief executive role.
Topping has spent 43 years with William Hill and took up the role of Chief Executive Officer during 2008. He was largely instrumental in William Hill’s push both online and overseas and recently spent in excess of 800 million pounds on deals. The deals included buying out William Hill’s online partner Playtech and rival gambling firm Sportingbet’s Australian operations.
William Hill’s shares have risen 74% in the past year and the group posted a rise of 8 percent in the first quarter operating profit in April resulting from a strong performance of its fast expanding online business.
The shareholders recently criticized Topping for having accepted a retention bonus of 1.2 million pounds with almost half of the group’s investors voting against the pay deal.
William Hill paid out total dividends of 7.5p per share in 2009 and increased the sum to 10.4p per share in 2012. Analysts are anticipating the dividends to keep rising and reaching 11.4p this year and 12.7p in 2014.