Itai Pazner steps down as 888 Holdings CEO with immediate effect

888 Holdings CEO and Executive Director Itai Pazner has relinquished his position with immediate effect. 

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The company has announced its Non-Executive Chair Lord Mendelsohn will assume the position of Executive Chair on an interim basis until a replacement CEO can be found.  

Speaking of Pazner’s departure, Mendelsohn said: "On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Itai for his significant contributions to the business over more than 20 years, including the last four as CEO.  

“Itai has played a vital role in building a business with powerful proprietary technology, and has overseen successful early stages of the William Hill integration process. We wish him well in his future endeavours." 

While the reason for Pazner’s departure was not specified, the news comes the same day the company suspended its VIP operations in the Middle East due to KYC and AML concerns.  

888 says an internal compliance review found best practices had not been adhered to in the region. 

A statement read: “While further internal investigations are underway, the Board has decided to suspend VIP customer accounts in the region, effective immediately.” 

Although a link between Pazner’s departure and 888’s suspension of VIP markets has yet to be established – if one exists, the timing of the CEO’s exit would suggest compliance issues in the Middle East may have had a part to play. 

Were this to be the case, it could imply 888’s AML and KYC issues in the regions are quite extensive and potentially damaging for the company.  

Pazner spoke out on his departure on social media, saying: "It has been a great honour to have worked with 888 for almost 22 years. Since I joined the company in 2001, I progressed through the ranks to be COO for two years and have spent the last four years as CEO.

"I am extremely proud to have played a significant part in making 888 the amazing company that it is today."

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