Swedish pokies provider NetEnt is looking for a new Chief Operating Officer (COO) after Bjorn Krantz stepped down.
Krantz joined the company in August 2009 and enjoyed a number of different roles in the company. Now the NetEnt COO has decided to take some time away from the online casino industry. Krantz served under three CEOs during his time with the company. Johan Ohman, Per Eriksson and more recently Therese Hillman worked alongside Krantz.
His resume makes interesting reading and he will have no problems finding a similar role if he decides to return to the fray. The now-former NetEnt COO held the position of Managing Director of NetEnt’s Malta business. Kratz was instrumental in NetEnt’s expansion into the United States and held the position of Managing Director of NetEnt Americas. The Swede became NetEnt COO in 2018.
NetEnt acquired Red Tiger Gaming for A$400 million with Krantz heavily involved.
Current NetEnt Chief Executive Therese Hillman paid tribute to Krantz and revealed it was his choice to move on.
“Over the years, Bjorn has played a very important role for our marketing expansion globally and has had several different roles within NetEnt. I sincerely thank Bjorn for his contributions over the years and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. I’m sure that we will be seeing each other again somewhere in the global world if iGaming.”
Krantz’s exit sees NetEnt restructuring its marketing and sales teams with its commercial arm into a single unit. An internal email said the move will enable the business to “work faster, remove tension and combine budgets to achieve double-digit growth, The email further explained, “We will shock and excite the industry, setting ourselves up so we can compete against our competitors rather than ourselves.”
The news of Krantz leaving his long-running association with NetEnt came shortly after the company announced it is opening a new office in the United Kingdom. NetEnt has prioritised the UK as a growth market and its new presence helps support UK operators.
Andy Whitworth, Managing Director of NetEnt UK Ltd, opened the new King Cross office with Rob Fell. Whitworth said, “We are delighted to be open for business in the UK. We need a local presence to better support our valued customers and grow our market share. We have already recruited some key talent and now we begin a period of recruitment for the second wave.”
NetEnt’s CEO, Hillman, said this: “This is a natural next step and an example of our commitment to the local market. The UK is already our largest market, and we see a short-term opportunity to grow our market share by being closer to our UK based customers. Our increased UK presence is one of the NetEnt Group’s key strategic initiatives this year.”
Whoever takes over Krantz as COO needs to revive NetEnt’s flagging fortunes in its native Nordics market because total revenues fell 4.1 percent for the first half of 2019. Hillman pointed the finger of blame at new regulation in Sweden.
“In the second quarter, NetEnt’s total revenues decreased by 4.1 percent (-6.6 percent in euro) compared to the corresponding period last year. The development resembled that of the first quarter, with weakness in the Nordic countries and primarily in Sweden, driven by fewer players and lower ARPU since the new regulation was introduced at the beginning of the year.”
it was not all doom and gloom for NetEnt investors, however. The company is now present in 23 regulated markets and these account for 49 percent of total revenues. Revenue grew 1.7 percent outside of Sweden.
NetEnt launched seven new pokies during the reporting period with Narcos being the most successful. Narcos is a mid-to-high volatility pokies machine with a 96.23 percent RTP. It is based on the cult Netflix TV show by the same name.
Several pokies released by NetEnt prove to be extremely popular. Gonza’s Quest pokie ranks as one of the most popular NetEnt pokies despite being released in 2010. Other popular pokies include Guns N’ Roses, Starburst, Jack Hammer, and Aliens.