Paddy Power CEO Kennedy to step down next year

Paddy Power chief executive officer (CEO) Patrick Kennedy will step down from the top post at the Irish gambling group in April next year.

Unveiling his decision at the group's annual general meeting (AGM) in Dublin yesterday, Mr. Kennedy also announced that he will not go up against the group in any new role after his retirement.

Announcing his retirement, he said, "I have decided, with a lot of notice to the company . I've always felt that 10 years in a role like this is enough time at the helm. The only thing I can tell you about what I'm going to do next is I'm never going to compete against Paddy Power."

Mr. Kennedy will remain with the group for a year after announcing his retirement. It is well beyond the legal six-month notice that he was required to give to make sure a smooth changeover.

He added that Paddy Power's nomination committee would run a full process and appoint a perfect successor to fill the vacancy.

Nigel Northridge, chairman of Paddy Power, said that the nomination committee would be casting the net far & wide to find a perfect replacement for Mr. Kennedy. But, he declined to say if he had made an attempt to convince Mr. Kennedy to continue as CEO.

Ireland-based Paddy Power has a market capitalisation of _2.8 billion. Last year, it pocketed a record _141 million profit on net revenue of _745 million.

Stock in Paddy Power slipped 4 per cent yesterday on news of Mr. Kennedy's planned departure to close at 56.70p per share.