Australian slot-machine giant Aristocrat Leisure, Ltd. announced that Jamie Odell, the company’s chief executive and managing director for the past eight years, will retire at the end of February. The company’s board appointed Trevor Croker, Aristocrat executive vice president for global products, to succeed Odell as CEO.
“An orderly and phased transition process has begun, with Jamie continuing to lead the business until Trevor assumes the CEO role formally from March 1, 2017,” the company said in a statement.
The company reported that Croker, who is CEO-elect pending regulatory approvals, will relocate to the U.S. in 2017 to assume the permanent CEO role. “North America generates Aristocrat’s largest revenues,” the company said, “and offers the business its most significant strategic opportunities.”
It was in North America that Odell did the most to turn Aristocrat’s business around, bringing in game design talent and pursuing licensed brands to boost the company’s gaming operations business. During Odell’s tenure, Aristocrat’s market capitalization grew from AUD1.7 billion (US$1.3 billion) to an all-time high of approximately AUD10.6 billion.
Croker joined Aristocrat with Odell in 2009 from beverage company Fosters. He served as managing director of Australia and New Zealand, led the company’s operations in the Asia Pacific region, and served as interim chief digital officer before being appointed executive vice president.