Ladbrokes joint French venture - Management Team chosen

Experienced Canal+ exec will lead the new company

The joint Ladbrokes and Canal+ joint venture into the French online gambling market (see previous InfoPowa reports) has named a high powered management board that includes experienced French television exec François Deplanck as CEO, and Ladbrokes' head of IT and remote gambling Mick D’Ancona as chief operating officer.

Other members of the board include Canal+ internet marketing director Laurent de Camas as marketing chief and Anne Balland as chief financial officer.

Deplanck is leaving his position as head of Canal+'s youth unit to take up his new responsibilities. The television exec has been in charge of youth programming at the French pay TV operator since 2007, and played an instrumental role in the launch of the Canal+ Family service. Prior to Canal+ he ran TPS Jeunesse. Deplanck started his TV career in 1990 at MTV before moving to TPS where he oversaw the launch of digital channels TéléToon, Eureka and Piwi.

Laurent de Camas has worked at the pay TV broadcaster in various roles since 1986, while Anne Cécile Balland, has been head of management control of Canal+ group sports department since 2008 and has held senior management positions including head of cash management at TF1-owned Eurosport TV.

Mick Ancona joined Ladbrokes as IT director in 2006 and was VP for product development at Orbis Technology previously.

Canal+ is the biggest premium pay TV provider in France and operator of the Canal+ Sport channel, with 12.5 million subscribers, including 10.8 million in France. The venture will offer online gambling to French citizens using Canal+’s brand strength combined with Ladbrokes’ e-gaming expertise, all under a licence issued by French regulator ARJEL.

Ladbrokes has agreed that whilst it is a shareholder in the joint venture, and for two years thereafter, it will not operate any other internet gambling business in France.

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