Flutter’s new UK & Ireland CEO has made his presence felt by challenging the business to “invent the future of the gambling industry” in a welcome email to colleagues.
Today (5 September) officially marks a first day in the office for new boss Ian Brown, who was selected in July to replace outgoing UK&I CEO Conor Grant after two years in charge.
“What that means right now is that Conor is very much still running the business until we tell you that it’s time for the next phase,” said Brown in a note to staff.
“Conor has kindly agreed to do this to enable me to spend more time learning the business before stepping into the full-on demanding workload that he holds down every day.”
Indeed, Brown will take the next few weeks to explore as much of Flutter’s UK&I business – which includes Paddy Power and Sky Bet – as he possibly can by visiting various teams.
“I want to hear from all of you what you love about this place, what we’re getting right, and indeed what we can do better or anything different we might want to try – because even the best businesses can always do better,” wrote Brown.
“We have our Long-Term Plan and the changes to team structures and those plans don’t change – we need to deliver them.
Flutter UK&I CEO Ian Brown: “It is really up to us to invent the future: not just for our business, but also the industry. We have the best cards, and we are playing to win.”
“Beyond that, I’m sure you’ve all got thoughts about what we might want to try doing differently at the right time, and I would love to hear them all please.“As you get to know me, you’ll learn there’s nothing you can’t say to me – as long as you’re polite of course. So please just tell me straight. That will save us all a load of time,” he added.
As well as being a straight shooter, Brown touched on the recent rationalisation process at Flutter UK&I that has led to multiple redundancies due to the “challenging external environment” as a result of economic changes and increased UK gambling regulation.
“I know right now that we are working through some important if sometimes painful changes in order to set us up for more success in the future – and it’s that future that I’m really excited about,” said Brown.
He described Flutter as the UK market leader in multiple ways and said the company had the best team in the sector across more than 7,000 staff.
“It is really up to us to invent the future: not just for our business, but also the industry. We have the best cards, and we are playing to win,” wrote the new chief executive.
Brown’s gambling industry experience is limited but he is a high-flying corporate executive having managed operations for Rentalcars.com and Booking.com between 2014 and 2019.
He arrives at Flutter from UKFast – a Manchester-based provider of hosting, cloud and cybersecurity solutions – where he also held the role of CEO.
Brown graduated from the prestigious University of Oxford in 1997 with a degree in engineering, economics and management.
He will be responsible for implementing any changes that arise at Flutter UK&I as a result of the government’s Gambling Act review white paper, which is expected to be published in the coming weeks following the confirmed appointment of Liz Truss as Prime Minister.