Haddock had been chief executive at Betfred for the last two years
By Bill Barber 7:00PM 28 SEP 2016
BETFRED chief executive John Haddock has left the bookmaker after 30 years with the organisation, the Racing Post can reveal.
No reason has been given for his surprise departure after two years as chief executive but it is understood it was decided that a change was needed at the head of the company.
Betfred founder and chairman Fred Done has taken over Haddock’s duties temporarily.
Done said: “John Haddock has departed from the Betfred Group as CEO.
“I would like to thank John for his 30 years of loyal unblemished service and I wish him well for the future. For the time being I shall be assuming all of John’s duties.”
Betfred said they had been hit by increased taxation and punter-friendly sports results when they released their latest set of accounts in June.
The firm reported Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) of £56.5 million for the year to September 27 2015, compared to £67.7m for the year to September 2014, and an operating loss of £76.7m compared to a profit of £31.5m for the previous 18-month accounting period, due to exceptional items of £83.7m.
Haddock began his career as a Ladbrokes betting shop manager in Altrincham before joining Fred Done in 1986 when the firm had little more than 25 shops.
He became chief executive in 2014 having been managing director of the bookmaker’s retail side and had been responsible for integrating the Tote’s betting shops into the firm’s wider estate following the purchase of the Tote in 2011.
He was also instrumental in bringing Betfred TV to the company’s betting shop estate, which now numbers 1,378 according to the bookmaker’s website.
Betfred could be set to add to that number as they have expressed their interest in buying the 350 to 400 betting shops Coral and Ladbrokes must sell in order for their proposed merger to go through.
Last weekend a newspaper report in Ireland suggested that Betfred had pipped BoyleSports in the race to buy the shops, although no confirmation has been forthcoming.
An announcement on who has purchased the shops is expected to be made in the near future.