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Malta-based Hero Gaming is undergoing a new wave of workforce reductions, including the departure of CEO Sarah Stellini.

iGaming NEXT understands that some 15 people have been affected by the recent developments.

Notably, nearly the entire Hero Gaming leadership team has decided to exit the company amid a potential merger with another company (more on that below).

Sarah Stellini (pictured), who had been promoted to the CEO position just last November, is currently still with the company but is preparing to leave.

After being contacted by iGaming NEXT, Hero Gaming founder Georg Westin commented: “We have had a very good period under Sarah’s leadership that has brought us back to profitability and she is also willing to stay on together with the rest of the leadership team for a transitional period.”

Westin back in CEO role

Westin added that he has once again assumed the role of CEO at Hero Gaming, marking the first time since 2015.

He believes that this will be a “very exciting” period and he aims to refocus on growth and “running a very fast, efficient and strong company”.

Last November, the company faced a significant exodus of around 60 employees, either through voluntary departure or redundancy, after staff were prompted to choose between two exit paths.

At that time, Hero Gaming founder Westin confirmed that the business was undergoing a restructure to create a more streamlined company following the sale of its Swedish B2C assets.

In August 2021, Hero Gaming sold its Swedish-facing B2C business, including its Speedy-branded casino assets, to Finnish operator Paf. Subsequently, Hero Gaming shifted its focus to B2B operations.

Stellini initially joined Hero Gaming as commercial director but ascended to the role of CEO following the resignation of her predecessor, Patrick Jonker, who also had a brief tenure of just 10 months.

Merger on the cards

Westin confirmed to iGaming NEXT that “there are plans to merge with another company”, in which he has been the co-founder.

He added that this merger is not finalised but that it would double Hero Gaming’s revenue and provide the company with “a good market diversification”, with a total of “12 very strong brands”.

Stellini, meanwhile, informed iGaming NEXT that her decision to part ways with Hero Gaming originated directly from the revealed merger strategies.

“Once the merger was announced I decided to exit Hero Gaming, and as a result my team followed suit,” she said.

Last week, Hero Gaming also appointed Per Thorn as COO.

Thorn, along with Westin, spearheads a Marbella-based consultancy firm, Thorn Consultancy, where Thorn serves as CEO and Westin as chairman.

Amid industry rumours about the company’s future, speculation was growing whether a merger could potentially result in the closure of Hero Gaming’s Malta office.

Westin, however, stated: “The Malta office will remain, and we see that the skill among our staff here is very high even though the increasing costs of running operations in Malta along with the reduced importance of the MGA licence is something all iGaming companies are taking into account when planning how to run operations.”

Hero Gaming was established in 2013 and pioneered the concept of gamified casinos, offering players a distinctive and engaging experience.

The company gained prominence with the launch of Casino Heroes in 2014, initially targeting Scandinavian markets.

Prior to the recent workforce reductions, Hero Gaming boasted around 120 staff.

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