Ladbrokes appoints Donal McCabe to bolster revamped comms operation

The UK's second largest bookmaker, Ladbrokes, has restructured its comms function and created a new director of external relations role.

Big odds: Ladbrokes is the UK’s second largest bookmaker

The FTSE 250 betting firm has appointed Donal McCabe to the newly created role. McCabe, currently director of corporate comms at British property giant Land Securities, will start in January.

He will lead Ladbrokes’ global comms strategy and assume responsibility for co-ordinating media, investor relations, public affairs, consumer PR, internal comms and brand via a newly created ‘communications council’. 

Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glynn said that ‘effective comms’ were pivotal ‘to Ladbrokes realising its growth ambitions’. He added: ‘Donal will strengthen an accomplished team and provide a co-ordinated approach to our comms in the UK and internationally, encompassing traditional and new media.’

McCabe has headed comms at Land Securities since 2007. He was previously comms director at Alliance Boots and head of financial media relations at Boots the Chemist. He also held senior PR posts at Railtrack, Network Rail and London Underground.

McCabe said: ‘Ladbrokes is a strong, exciting brand with global ambitions going through significant change. I’m excited by the significant comms challenges and opportunities it has to offer.’

Ladbrokes held acquisition talks with a number of online rivals last year, including 888 and Sportingbet, before deciding to revamp its own online business.

The £50m online relaunch was beset by delays, but the site went live in the last quarter and digital revenues are increasing.

Ladbrokes’ senior comms team includes: Ciaran O’Brien, director of government and corporate affairs; Matthew Sharff, head of investor relations; Mike Dillon, PR director; David Williams, head of consumer PR and Drew McMillan, head of internal comms.

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