Cooper to step down as finance director at William Hill

18 June 2015

William Hill has announced that group finance director Neil Cooper is to step down from his role at the bookmaker in order to take up a new position with property company Barratt Developments.

Despite Cooper’s contract having a notice period of 12 months, the bookmaker said that his actual departure date will be confirmed in due course.

Cooper first joined William Hill in 2010 after spells on the senior management teams of a number of housebuilding companies such as Bovis Homes Group and Whitbread, and will now return to the property sector with Barratt.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at William Hill over the last five years and am proud of the significant progress that we have made in cementing our UK leadership position and in expanding into Australia and the US,” Cooper said.

James Henderson, chief executive officer of William Hill, added: “Neil has been a key part of our management team since May 2010.

“During that time, he has built a strong finance and investor relations team and supported the group's digital and international diversification. He leaves us in excellent financial health.”

Meanwhile, William Hill has been dealt a blow after the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) hit out at the bookmaker for using images of children and teddy bears in advertising campaigns to promote gambling.

The bookmaker launched a number of adverts on its official Twitter account to promote betting on various events such as the Masters golf tournament and the sex of the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

William Hill opted to use images such as a child jumping in the air holding a golf club for the Masters campaign, while two oversized teddy bears wearing crowns were driven around London on the back of a flatbed truck to promote betting odds on the Royal Baby.

Having received a complaint that the adverts were likely to appeal to children, the ASA stepped in to investigate the campaigns.

The regulatory body noted that the UK advertising code bans the use of images of children or young people to promote gambling, while agreeing that the use of teddy bears was likely to appeal to children.

The ASA ordered the adverts not to appear in their current form again.
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