PMU strengthens management team for post-Covid recovery

5 May 2020

French sports and horse race betting operator Pari-Mutuel Urbain has appointed a trio of new executives to its management team.

Romain Rogister will join the business as director of commercial networks from 1 June, having previously overseen the transformation of telecommunications giant SFR’s retail network.

Martial Houlle, meanwhile, took up the role of secretary general yesterday (4 May). Houlle joins from utilities provider Total Direct Énergie, where he has worked since 2016.

Finally Céline Stierlé has been named director of communications, also effective 4 May. She had worked for security and ID verification solutions provider Idemia since 2017, serving as director of press relations and public affairs, following a two-year stint with online retailer Amazon.

The trio, who will report directly to director general Cyril Linette, will play a role in the operator’s recovery plan, as France prepares to emerge from its novel coronavirus (Covid-19) enforced lockdown.

Moving forward, they will also contribute to the business’ digital transformation, which launched in 2018.

PMU, which continues to generate the vast majority of revenue through its retail network, has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, both through the suspension of all horse racing, and the shut down of its retail outlets and kiosks.

This forced the operator to furlough 95% of its workforce, having stopped all marketing activities from 19 March.

French racing, which was suspended from 17 March, now looks set to return from 11 May, with strict social distancing conditions and with no spectators.

In related news, Emmanuel Vacher, formerly deputy managing director of racing media business Paris-Turf Group - which also operates the LeTurf and Genybet online betting brands - has joined PMU as director of horse racing intelligence and customer analysis.

He will report into Emmanuelle Malecaze-Doublet, who was named client and marketing director in September 2019.