Updated

Joanne Whittaker

CEO
Betfred

Joanne Whittaker worked her way up the ranks of Betfred and created a successful company of her own. In the following years, Betfred Founder Fred Done announced that Whittaker was to take over as the new CEO of the company; a role that she has been fulfilling since 2021.

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS

Whittaker joined Betfred and impressed the company’s founder, Fred Done. In 2005, Done agreed to loan Whittaker £100,000 ($125,854) to start up a business of her own. Off the back of this, Whittaker opened her childcare voucher brand, Fideliti. The company achieved a turnover of more than £80m in 2019.  

Done appointed Whittaker as the new CEO of Betfred in 2021; a position she still holds.  

EMPLOYMENT

Prior to her entrepreneurial efforts, Whittaker had been working as head of IT at Betfred’s Warrington base. During this time, she helped the company modernise its network and established a new line of computer systems.  

Whittaker left the operator in 2005. When taking maternity leave for the birth of her first child, Whittaker identified a gap in the market; she felt that the childcare voucher providers at the time weren’t up to scratch and believed that she could bring a new product to the market.  

With this in mind, Whittaker approached Done, her employer at Betfred, and acquired a loan for £100,000 in exchange for a 25% share of her business. Shortly after, Fideliti – her childcare voucher business – was launched, which in turn grew annually to produce a turnover of £80m in 2019. 

Since the success of Fideliti, Whittaker went on to return to Betfred and became a Non-executive Director.  

Whittaker also set up two further businesses of her own; a debt advice service called Angel Advance and a loans company called Workplace Finance. On top of this, Whittaker has also examined several other businesses that Done is involved in and was involved in the establishment of the Done Family Office.  

Due to her connections with Done, individual entrepreneurship and history with Betfred, Whittaker was officially appointed as the new CEO of Betfred in 2021. This position is one she continues to hold today.  

“My idea [for Fideliti] wasn’t unique. There were other companies providing the service but I was able to improve on what was on offer. Because of my computing background, I saw the service could be more tailored” Joanne Whittaker
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