May 15, 2008

Reshuffle at Party as Ryan brought in as CEO and O'Malia promoted to MD

PartyGaming has taken less time than perhaps anticipated in appointing a successor to current chief executive Mitch Garber, who will officially leave the company tomorrow.

Jim Ryan, who has been named as chief executive will start his new role after a handover of responsibilities. Ryan's experience includes roles as chief executive of white label solutions provider St Minver, at Excapsa, and at Cryptologic as chief financial officer.

Garber's resignation was announced in March, as was his intention to return to Canada. At the time it was speculated that it could take up to a year for a new chief executive to be put in place. PartyGaming said that Garber would remain "part of the handover process" until the end of July. Current chief games officer John O'Malia, who has been promoted to the newly created role of managing director will step in during the handover period.

O'Malia's new responsibilities will include the daily management of the group, and he will have a seat on the board.

In addition to these changes, current non-executive chairman Michael Jackson is to step down within the coming months. His role has not been filled. Jackson said: "The board is delighted to have appointed Jim Ryan after a rigorous search and selection process that considered a broad range of candidates."

He added: "Jim's experience, coupled with John O'Malia's proven success in managing PartyGaming's profitability enhancements over the past year, will be a powerful combination in driving the company forward and continuing to enhance the value and appeal of PartyGaming's brands and gaming products."

Ryan said: "I am hugely excited by the scale of the opportunity and with the support of PartyGaming' s board and management team, I am confident we have an exciting and prosperous future."

Senior independent director Rod Perry said that Jackson's stewardship in dealing with complex regulatory issues was "evidenced" by the company's successes. He said that Jackson's "experience and drive" has been "invaluable."