March 30, 2017 / 6:32 AM / 4 months ago

William Hill picks new CFO as boss Bowcock builds his team

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A William Hill bookmaker store is seen in London, Britain July 21, 2016.Peter Nicholls

(Reuters) - William Hill Plc (WMH.L) named Ruth Prior as chief financial officer on Thursday as its new chief executive builds a team to try to lift the British bookmaker's fortunes after a run of weak results.

Prior will join later this year from Worldpay (WPG.L), where she is now chief operating officer and previously held the post of deputy CFO, the gambling company said.

The appointment comes weeks after William Hill named previous CFO Philip Bowcock as its new chief executive officer.

Chairman Gareth Davis, a well known figure in British business, said he was planning to step down from a role he has held since 2010.

"I would envisage...to be in a position to retire from the board before the time of the 2018 Annual General Meeting." Davis wrote in the company's latest annual report.

Bowcock and his team will have the job of turning around the bookmaker which has struggled to keep pace with the rapid growth of online gambling and missed out on consolidation in the sector in recent years.

Prior led the implementation of a multi-channel payment platform at Worldpay.

"We are encouraged to see another CFO appointment from outside the industry," Simon French, analyst at Cenkos, wrote in a client note adding that Prior's experience of processing payments should prove valuable as William Hill increases revenue from outside Britain.

William Hill pulled out of merger talks with Canadian online gambling company Amaya Inc (AYA.TO) in October. It also rejected a takeover approach from smaller rivals 888 (888.L) and Rank Group (RNK.L) last year.

Its rivals have expanded through mergers with the tie-up between Ladbrokes and Coral (LCL.L) toppling William Hill as Britain biggest high street bookmaker.

Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair and Keith Weir

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