My first question is a slightly humorous one. Do you have to be called David to be a CEO within Glitnor Group!?
I think it definitely helps and it’s been proven! I guess you can never have too much of a good thing.
On a more serious note, how did the move come about? Is the CEO role one you have always targeted?
I’ve moved up within the industry and within this company in particular, so I’ve been on that commercial path within my career, and CEO is something I’ve been looking to take a go at. Obviously, within Swintt, I was the first employee after David Flynn, the Founder and now Group CEO of Glitnor Group.
The opportunity was there for me to step up. In terms of knowing the business and the culture, being able to form a strategy envisioned around the people and the setup we already have in place, it made sense. I know the business inside and out, and I’ve been a huge part of driving the strategic decisions, the culture within the group and really helping to get Swintt where it is today.
Making the move from Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), a very crucial role within the group, to CEO, I think there’s quite a clear progression. It also aligns with our culture, not just at Swintt but Glitnor Group, of promoting from within – giving people the chance to step up and prove themselves.
You’ve outlined a couple already but what benefits, more broadly, do internal promotions offer when compared to an external hire?
I have the full knowledge of where the business is, having been here for almost three and a half years. I know the company inside and out. I know the nuances, I know the pain points, I know the positives that we have; so I’m able to quickly align with a team, understand what we can do to move forward and continue on the fantastic growth trajectory we’ve managed to sustain over the last few years.
I have been, for some time, the face of the company in the commercial role, as David Flynn was taking a step back, which further exemplifies that.
But I think it’s also important to show the rest of the team within the business that if you work hard and if you’re a good fit, we’re willing to give you a chance. We believe it’s really important for people to see that they can make a career with Swintt.
How will you work with David Flynn? He’s CEO of Glitnor and you’re CEO of Swintt, what’s the relationship there and how will you interact on the job?
Dave and I have a fantastic working relationship and he’s been a solid mentor for me over the last few years. Coming from the Glitnor Group side, he knows the business as much as I do. So, he will still be there to advise and to work in certain areas with us.
There will be a different relationship and setup within the company now. I’ll be in charge of taking decisions; I’ll have the full responsibility of the business moving forward. But then I can work with the group for any larger projects. Should we be looking at M&A? Can we further leverage the existing relationship and opportunities within the Glitnor Group so we can maximise the business across all fronts?
The opportunity was there for me to step up. In terms of knowing the business and the culture, being able to form a strategy envisioned around the people and the setup we already have in place, it made sense
We’ll be a company within a company. We can take our own path in terms of the culture and the policy we employ but, of course, they’ll all be aligned with a larger group, and the ambitions and goals we wish to achieve together.
In terms of your targets, do you have any new plans you want to implement as CEO that maybe you couldn’t as CCO, or are you very much focused on the goals you were already working on?
We already have numerous projects going on. There’s a crazy workload at the moment where we’re fighting on a lot of fronts to achieve a lot of things, and we’re moving at a breakneck speed. So it’s really an exciting time to be in there. I’ll be the one to ultimately take decisions and lead the strategy, leading the company from the front.
When it comes to which new markets we look at, in the Chief Commercial Officer role I had a big say and my approach is relatively the same at the CEO level. I’ll be looking to implement different strategies for us to implement on the product side. We’re already making great strides on a platform level. We’re continuously upgrading our platform to have a whole range of amazing features.
I’ll continue to look for partners, smaller studios who are looking to develop content and get it distributed via the Swintt network. I’ll also be looking at other ways we can leverage the business and continue on our growth journey.
What are the main markets you’re focused on right now?
We’ll be launching into the UK very soon, which is a really exciting market for us. We have a range of branded games featuring Vinnie Jones, who obviously has a huge appeal within the UK market. We’re going to release a Vinnie Jones football theme game in November to tie in with the World Cup. We can work with all creators on some really cool campaigns to make the most of the game.
Beyond the UK, we will be looking at further expansion within Europe. Romania and Lithuania and then, of course, there’s no question that we have our sights set on moving across to the States and North America in general. We’re looking to enter Ontario and US markets in the first half of next year. This will obviously give us a huge boost in terms of which operators and which markets we can reach, but it’s ultimately our goal to continue moving across new markets in a very sustainable and measured way.
Thanks for bringing Vinnie Jones to ICE London by the way! We had an interview with him and it’s almost become folklore within the Gambling Insider office.
Fantastic! He’s done so much in his career, from being a professional footballer to acting. And, especially within the UK, he’s iconic.
Onto my final question, what challenges or hurdles are most pressing and will be the first you deal with as CEO?
I was already, in the CCO position, involved in a lot of projects, but now I have to be much more across every department. So I have to be able to really keep an eye on that and sustainably grow the business. Everybody wants to keep getting new staff and keep pushing, but that’s something we need to do in a really calm and collected way to make sure we don’t overspend.
Within the wider industry, I think there’s no question recruitment is one of the challenges. That’s why we’re taking a measured and sustainable approach; we really want to bring in the right people. I think it’s an appealing proposition and a fantastic time to join us. We’re entering into multiple new markets; we’re making huge strides and upgrading our technology.
We’ve got one of the most exciting, well-loved and dedicated teams within the industry. It’s a really exciting time for us at Swintt and I’m very proud, privileged and humbled to be able to step up, and be the leader of all these fantastic people.