Kindred Appoints New Interim CFO, Interim CEO Talks on the Future

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Last month, we reported on Unibet owner Kindred Group’s internal turmoil. That resulted in a huge change in company leadership, including the departure of long-term CEO Henrik Tjärnström and CFO Johan Wilsby.

Fast forward a month later, and the company has appointed a new interim CFO in Patrick Kortman.

Kortman has been with Kindred for nearly five years. He was director of corporate development since 2018, and then head of investor relations since 2020.

Interim CEO Nils Andén (pictured) is also settling into his role. He gave an internal interview this week where he discussed the company’s future and his outlook on the job.

“I am delighted that we can maintain momentum and consistency across the company during this period, thanks to our excellent senior leaders and strong employee base,” Andén said.

Two other interim positions were filled on Kindred’s senior management this week. Usha Ganesan will serve as interim chief finance operations officer, and previous Kindred UK General Manager Neil Banbury will become interim chief commercial & marketing officer.

All of these appointments will remain on an interim basis until the group’s strategic review is concluded later this year. The first reports with new interim management at the helm will be published on July 25.  

Kindred Group was one of the first international operators to launch online casino services in the US after states began to legalize, opening its Unibet brand in New Jersey in 2019.

Related: Our expert guide to the top online casinos in New Jersey

Strategic Reviews

“I am very pleased that Patrick has agreed to take on the role of Interim CFO at Kindred,” said Andén. “He will continue to bring great value to Kindred’s financial operations, to the wider executive team, and to the board as we continue to focus on the strategic review.”

Kindred struggled throughout 2022. Worldwide revenues fell by 15% year-on-year, and net profits dropped 59% to $120 million.

Company insiders told sources at the time that the opinion was Kindred leadership had struggled to adapt to new business models. That’s as more gambling markets around the world adopted legalization, including the US.

Related: Unibet’s US online casino, reviewed

Compliance and Sustainability

When asked where he saw the industry heading in an internal interview published by Kindred, Andén echoed that sentiment.

“We’re still at the early stages of a new phase, which centered around learning to pivot from dot-com to locally regulated markets. Those years put operators to the test, as local markets meant different regulations, rules, and criteria to adhere to,” he said.

“In the last five years, we have begun moving toward more regulated environments that demand and reward more responsible actors. The complexity of regulations and compliance is setting the scene for the future.”

Andén also highlighted Kindred’s ambitions to be an ethical and sustainable operator. It has committed to zero percent of gambling revenue from partnerships with grey area, illegal, or ethically questionable operators, and the same for problem gamblers.

Kindred estimated in Q1 2023 that around 1% of revenues are from high-risk individuals or operations, according to its own internal data.

“There has been a need for the industry to better itself and take more responsibility regarding the risks associated with gambling. I also think this has been contributing to the consolidation we’ve been seeing,” Andén said.

This week Kindred also announced it will be joining forces with the Dutch Center for Stem Cell Donors, Matchis, as part of its charitable Unibet Impact sustainability effort. Kindred brands will promote awareness to help sick patients find stem cell donors that could save their lives.

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