Former Foster's Exec Named New Aristocrat C.E.O.

2 January 2009

Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. announced its new chief executive on Monday with a former executive at Foster's taking the reins.

Jamie Odell, a former managing director of Foster's Australia, Asia and Pacific, will take the post officially on Feb. 1, 2009, though the new appointment is still subject to regulatory approval.

According to The Australian, Mr. Odell's predecessor, Paul Oneile, resigned following a 43 percent drop in the company's first-half profit. The paper also says that Mr. Odell left Foster's in November after being passed over for the chief executive post.

“He is a successful executive from a consumer oriented industry who will quickly develop gaming industry knowledge and provide inspired leadership to the company going forward,” said David Simpson, the chairman of Aristocrat, in a prepared statement.

The slot machine manufacturer cut annual profit forecasts by 40 percent at the end of October, which caused its share price to sink from 5.50 Australian dollars to 3.96 Australian dollars, or 28 percent, and the company to lose 710 million Australian dollars of its market value.