Employing around 3,800 people, Novomatic UK, the country’s largest gaming industry operation, comprising manufacturing, operating and distribution, has announced senior management changes.
Novomatic UK has undertaken a strategic realignment of its management structure which will see changes across several key positions and will come into effect on 1 January 2017.
Central among the changes is the decision by Zane Mersich to relinquish his post as MD of Astra Games in order to focus on leading the group as CEO of Novomatic UK, based at the group’s London headquarters.
“It has been a pleasure and an honour to serve Astra Games as Managing Director over the past eight years through some challenging times for the industry and, consequently, the business,” said Mersich, CEO of Novomatic UK.
“The full year 2016 will record a more than trebling of the revenues recorded back in 2008 when this exciting journey began.
“As for me, I can now focus my energy on leading Novomatic UK through the next phases of its progress and development.”
“It has been a pleasure and an honour to serve Astra Games as Managing Director over the past eight years through some challenging times for the industry and, consequently, the business.”
The second change sees the retirement of Bell-Fruit Group (BFG) MD John Austin who steps down after 15 years at the well-known Nottingham gaming machine manufacturer.
“I am privileged to have been at the helm of Bell-Fruit Group throughout such a rich period of sustained success and to have worked with some of the best talent in the business,” said Austin, commenting on his impending retirement.
However Austin still plans to remain with BFG in an ambassadorial role which will allow the company to continue to draw upon his extensive industry experience.
“I am particularly proud to have been involved during the company’s 50th Anniversary year of trading which will always remain a memorable milestone in my career,” he added.
“I wish Bell-Fruit Group and Novomatic UK all the best for the future and will offer my support and experience wherever possible.”
“I’m delighted to have been afforded the opportunity to lead two of the biggest names in gaming: Astra and Bell-Fruit are synonymous with the UK gaming machine sector and are widely lauded as being among the most innovative and progressive brands in the business,”
Both vacant managing director roles at Astra and BFG will be filled by current Gamestec MD Chris Butler who comes with an extensive background in the manufacturing and operating sectors, having spent most of his career in the gaming industry including 20 years with Barcrest.
“I’m delighted to have been afforded the opportunity to lead two of the biggest names in gaming: Astra and Bell-Fruit are synonymous with the UK gaming machine sector and are widely lauded as being among the most innovative and progressive brands in the business,” said Butler.
Butler, in turn, will be replaced at Gamestec by Peter Davies who becomes MD of Gamestec and Playnation simultaneously and will also join Novomatic UK’s Board of Directors.
Davies has an intimate working knowledge and experience of the Gamestec business having held the position of commercial director at the firm prior to taking the lead role at Playnation.
“The timing is perfect for me at this stage in my career – opportunities to steer world class operations such as these are few and far between and I’m looking forward with huge anticipation to the challenges that lie ahead,” said Davies.
Also as part of the realignment, Mazooma Interactive Games MD Tony Oliver and Extreme Live Gaming MD Darwyn Palenzuela will report directly to Mersich.