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William Hill shake-up with UK online and retail divisions set to merge

Chief executive Ulrik Bengtsson continues to ring the changes at William Hill, with the bookmaker set to merge their UK online and retail divisions.

The firm's UK online managing director Phil Walker will be in charge of the single UK market division, with his counterpart in the retail division Nicola Frampton set to leave Hills after ten years with the company.

William Hill said the decision to merge the two divisions had been made in order to focus on recovery in 2021, which could feature a packed sporting programme including the rescheduled Uefa European Championship.

It is the latest major reorganisation at William Hill, who closed 713 betting shops last autumn in response to the government's crackdown on FOBTs.

A number of senior figures have also left the bookmaker, the latest set to be Frampton who joined Hills in 2010 and became director of UK retail in 2014.

Walker and Frampton will however work together during a six-month transition period.

Bengtsson said: "We will be immensely sad to say goodbye to Nicola Frampton when the time comes. Nicola has been with William Hill for ten years and has been a driving force on the executive team as well as being instrumental in reshaping and transforming our retail business."

Frampton added: "It has been an absolute privilege to lead the retail team at William Hill. Our shops play a vital role in our success and I look forward to working with Phil on a handover plan in the coming months."

Walker has led William Hill's UK online business for the last 18 months having previously spent nearly eight years with rivals Gala Coral Group and Ladbrokes Coral.

In other changes, the bookmaker's global brand and marketing director Charlotte Emery has been appointed to their executive team to lead the newly created "Brand Centre of Excellence".  

William Hill are also closing their office in Sweden as part of the integration of Mr Green, the Scandinavian online operator they acquired in 2018.

Hills said in a statement: "We're adopting a team-based approach to product development in which teams are aligned to the business area they support. 

"This requires us to structure the right number of teams, with the right skills, which means we’ve had to make some tough decisions about locations. 

"Our intention is to close the Stockholm office by the end of the year, migrating the work and potentially in some cases colleagues to Krakow or Leeds."

In June, William Hill raised £224 million through a share placement to strengthen their balance sheet and boost their plans for expansion in the United States.

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