Light & Wonder CEO Barry Cottle steps down

Light & Wonder is looking for a new chief executive after confirming the departure of Barry Cottle as president and CEO.

Cottle had served as CEO of the company formerly known as Scientific Games since June 2018. He will remain as a consultant to support a seamless transition, with Light & Wonder executive vice president and group chief executive of gaming Matt Wilson named interim CEO while the company hunts for a permanent replacement.

“As we enter the next chapter of our growth journey as the leading cross-platform global game company, we are confident that now is the right time to make this leadership transition,” said Light & Wonder executive chair Jamie Odell. “Our executive vice chair, Toni Korsanos, and I have worked closely with Matt for over 10 years, including most recently as he has successfully worked to turn around and reposition Light & Wonder’s Gaming business for long-term growth.

“We are confident that his strategic insights, deep industry knowledge, rich experience and impressive track record make him the ideal person to serve as interim CEO during this transition period.”

Wilson said he is “honoured” to take on the role of interim CEO.

“With a streamlined organization, sharpened strategic focus and strengthened balance sheet, we are now better positioned than ever to capitalize on the incredible opportunities ahead for the business,” he added. “I look forward to working closely with the rest of the leadership team in this new capacity as we continue to accelerate our progress as a sustainable growth company.”

Light & Wonder’s board’s search for a permanent CEO will include both internal and external candidates.

“We thank Barry for all of his contributions to the fundamental reshaping of the company that has positioned it for continued success,” continued Odell. “With our transformed balance sheet, continued strong business momentum and great progress executing on our capital allocation priorities, we see a tremendous opportunity to drive shareholder value.

“We look forward to working closely with Matt and the rest of the management team as we continue to execute on our strategic roadmap and deliver on our growth targets.”

Light & Wonder has been undertaking a major realignment of its business strategy. As well as its overall rebrand, it recently sold its lottery division to Canadian investment firm Brookfield Business Partners and is scheduled to divest its OpenBet sports betting business to IMG Arena-owner Endeavor in the next month in a deal worth US$800 million.

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