On February 27th, PartyGaming announced the preliminary results of what was a highly successful 2005 for the company. At the same time, however, PartyGaming also reluctantly announced a change in the leadership of the company as they head into their future in the online gaming world.
2005 was a very good year for PartyGaming. The company, based in Gibraltar, was able to announce an increase in their overall profits for the year ending on December 31st. Their revenues increased to nearly a billion dollars at $977.7 million, making an increase over their 2004 revenues of $601.6 million. Much of this was accredited to their popular poker room PartyPoker and the introduction of blackjack to the site as well.
Other areas that PartyGaming was particularly pleased with included the performance of the company on the worldwide stock markets. Trading on such markets as the London Stock Exchange have been in stride with what the Board of Directors expected, according to Chairman of the Board Michael Jackson, and set the company up well for this year also. "PartyGaming's full year performance has again been outstanding, endorsing the strategy mapped out at the time of the IPO," Jackson stated during the fiscal report. "The rapid pace of development has continued into 2006. The Group has launched PartyCasino as part of a fully integrated, Party-branded platform with a common account and shared purse, made significant enhancements to PartyPoker, and acquired EmpirePoker, which consolidates our leading position in online poker and concluding our skins strategy."
While the PartyGaming Board of Directors were extremely pleased with the company's performance, it was with a bit of melancholy that PartyGaming had to also announce the departure of their CEO, Richard Segal. "PartyGaming's IPO and subsequent success has been due in large part to the leadership of Richard Segal, the Group's CEO," Jackson noted. "It is therefore with regret that we are announcing Richard's departure. On behalf of all stakeholders, we thank him for his substantial contribution and wish him every success for the future."
When the PartyGaming IPO occurred in 2005, Segal started a weekly commute to the company's offices in Gibraltar. With the success that the company has had during his tenure, everyone involved at PartyGaming determined that the CEO needed to be on site. After discussions with his family, Segal determined that he could not relocate his family to Gibraltar and reluctantly rejected the request from the Board of Directors to continue on as CEO.
Segal, who had been with PartyGaming since 2004 and was an important driving force in the current direction of the company, announced his decision with a mixture of pride and sadness. "My time at PartyGaming has been one of enormous challenge and great excitement and we have achieved a huge amount in a very short space of time. The decision to leave has been very difficult given the success already achieved and the exciting prospects ahead," he said. He was able to look on the bright side in that he was leaving the company better than when he arrived when he continued, "This is a very fast moving and dynamic industry and I am incredibly proud of everything that everyone at
PartyGaming has achieved to further our progress and prepare the ground for even greater things to come." The Board of Directors have stated that the search for a new leader is currently ongoing.
With these announcements, PartyGaming is showing the continued financial success of online gaming and also demonstrates that they will be a force in the industry for some time to come. Although Segal's departure is an unfortunate turn, PartyGaming should find a suitable replacement and continue on into 2006 with greater success in mind for the company.