Bally and WMS executives will dominate the diverse team of industry veterans heading the new Scientific Games conglomerate.
At the top is Gavin Isaacs, deal-maker par excellence, who will serve as president, CEO and a member of the board of directors.
Most recently chief executive of SHFL entertainment, he engineered SHFL’s 2013 acquisition by Bally Technologies, where he’d previously served as executive vice president and COO. As widely reported, he was instrumental in steering the US$5.1 billion mega-merger completed last week that brings together Bally-SHFL and Scientific Games-WMS under the banner of New York-based lottery giant SciGames and its billionaire chairman Ron Perelman, the LBO tycoon whom Mr Isaacs served as an advisor.
Prior to joining Bally in 2006, Mr Isaacs held several senior roles at Aristocrat Leisure. He headed Global Marketing and Business Development for the Australia-based slot giant. He served as managing director of its European subsidiary and was president of Aristocrat Technologies, the company’s US subsidiary, based in Las Vegas.
Alongside him is another Bally alumnus, Scott Schweinfurth, as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Highly regarded on Wall Street, he is best-known for his 13 years managing the finances at WMS, where he served as executive vice president, CFO and treasurer. In April, he took over the same roles with SciGames, which had acquired WMS in January 2013 in the $1.5 billion deal that touched off the current wave of consolidation among the biggest names in slot machines. He was an audit partner at Ernst & Young for 18 years prior to moving into gaming in 1995 as senior vice president, CFO and treasurer at Bally.
Derik Mooberry, another top name at Bally and an executive well-known to Mr Isaacs, will head up slots and systems as chief executive, Gaming. A 20-year industry veteran, he was senior vice president of Games, Table Game Products and Interactive Research & Development for Bally and also oversaw the company’s sizable business in Mexico and South America. Prior to that, he was Bally’s senior vice president of Games and vice president of Products and Operations, responsible for games, systems, server-based solutions, product management, technology development and global operations. He’d previously served as vice president of Games Sales and Operations in the Americas.
Stephen Beason, a veteran of the lottery side, will serve as Enterprise Chief Technology Officer, the role he has filled at SciGames for the last eight years. He also has direct Asian experience, serving at one time as executive director, Information Technology for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, where he led a staff of 400 in leveraging IT to improve the club’s racing, lottery and betting services across all platforms. He’d previously been a key member of the technology management team at the Swedish National Horse Racing Association. Prior to joining SciGames in 2005, he was vice president, Software Engineering for GTECH, where he is credited with developing and installing more than 40 gaming systems worldwide. He joined SciGames in 2005 and was promoted the following year to president of the Lottery Systems Group.
James Kennedy, SciGames’ current head of lottery, will retain that role in the enlarged company. He is a 30-year industry veteran who previously served as president, Printed Products, and was the company’s chief marketing officer.
Williams Interactive Managing Director Jordan Levin will bring together the growing social and real-money online operations of SciGames, Bally and SHFL as president, Interactive. He was chief operating officer of Williams Interactive when it was a subsidiary of Chicago-based WMS Industries prior to the SciGames acquisition. He also served as vice president, Business Development, for WMS.
Crafting an identity for the conglomerate will be the job of Dan Savage, who served as vice president, Corporate Marketing for Bally from 2008 to 2013 before joining SciGames, where he was appointed to the same role in September. As the new vice president, Corporate Marketing and Integration he “will work closely with the company’s Gaming, Lottery and Interactive groups to identify, evaluate and leverage opportunities to increase player appeal and positioning in the marketplace,” the company said. Prior to joining Bally, he was global business manager for 3M Touch Systems, a leading supplier of touch-screen displays to the gaming industry.