Last week, esports organisation Entain acquired Bet City, the Netherlands-based betting platform in a deal that was reportedly worth around €850 million once completed.
That deal came after a recent Entain study that surveyed 16,000 UK residents and led to a clearer understanding of the connections between esports and computer gamers and their enjoyment of betting.
As is clearly evident, the esports and esports betting company has been making major strides in many different areas over the past year and that will continue with the news this week that the board has appointed Rahul Welde as an independent Non-Executive director of the company.
Welde will start in his role on July 1st this year and he has previously spent many years working as the Executive Vice President of Global Digital Transformation for Unilever.
In that role, Welde played a prominent part in allowing Unilver to develop and establish new brands across many different marketplaces, ostensibly but not exclusively in the retail sector.
In a 30-year+ career with Unilever, Welde has built up a vast amount of experience of delivering on key strategies and developing them within new markets and it is thought that Entain have brought him in to utilise that knowledge and experience.
Additionally, Welde has also decided that he will serve on Entain’s Environmental, Social and Governance Committee in addition to his primary role.
Commenting about the appointment of Mr Welde, the Chairman of Entain, Barry Gibson, commented:
On behalf of the board, I am delighted to welcome Rahul to Entain.
Rahul brings with him exceptional knowledge of customer experience excellence, ecommerce and digital transformation.
I am confident his skills and expertise will further enhance the board’s ability to support and oversee the delivery of our strategy.
Quite what that strategy is remains unclear, but given the moves made by Entain in recent times into multiple betting markets around the world, plus the long list of renowned brands that the company own, such as Ladbrokes, Coral, bwin, Sportingbet, Gala Casino, PartyCasino, BetMGM, Partypoker and Borgata, it is reasonable to assume that Welde will play a key role in developing the digital presence of these brands, as well as overseeing their expansion into new markets.
And where that is not possible, it is possible that Welde could oversee the implementation of Entain’s main strategy with any sports book, casino, poker or esports service that it takes over in a new deal, such as the company did with BetCity earlier this year.
Skill Set Over Industry Knowledge
Given that Mr Welde has spent over 30 years working with Unilever, who do not have any ties to the gambling, gaming or esports industry, it is very much apparent that Entain have hired Mr Welde for his specific skill set, rather than his knowledge of Entain’s broader market.
There are any number of sectors where Mr Welde’s skill set could be used effectively beyond simply expanding their services into new markets, or developing their products around the world.
Facilitating safe betting as part of an improved player experience on their sites may well be one option.
Improving the Entain brand’s performance on social media may be another.
Mr Welde will begin in his new non-executive role on July 1st this year.