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Per Widerström will leave Fortuna Entertainment Group on 28 February 2022 after more than seven years in charge of the privately owned European gambling operator.

iGaming NEXT understands Widerström is departing the gambling sector for new career opportunities within the private equity industry.

The Swede is an experienced corporate finance and business executive who entered the gambling world back in 2006 as the CEO and director of sports betting brand Expekt, which was recently brought back to life by Stockholm-listed LeoVegas.

He then occupied several C-level roles at bwin.party and Gala Coral Group, before joining Fortuna as CEO and chairman of the management board in November 2014.

He has also sat on the board of Malta-based affiliate Catena Media since May 2019.

Widerström will be replaced on an interim basis by David Vaněk, who has served as chief executive of the firm’s Czech business since January 2016.

“Seven years is indeed a long time and there are so many people I would like to thank for having been with me and FEG during this journey, be it our customers, business partners or other stakeholders,” said Widerström in an update on LinkedIn.

Fortuna is a leading omni-channel operator in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), with a strong presence in Poland, Romania, Croatia, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Fortuna was a public company on the Prague Stock Exchange until it delisted in May 2018 and also exited the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Since then, it has been privately and wholly owned by Fortbet Holdings, a subsidiary of CEE-focused investment group Penta Investments, which was founded in Slovakia in 1994.

“In particular, I would like to thank all the fantastic employees who have made FEG into the great company it is today as well as to thank Penta Investments for their great support and collaboration,” added Widerström.

“Leaving FEG at this time feels right, in particular knowing that the company is well poised for further growth as well as being in very good hands with David and the rest of the executive team.”

Widerström spent nearly four years with the Nordic and Baltic division of Coca-Cola in the nineties, working in sales, business development and marketing for the company.

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