dealt blow as managing director quits, by Roger
Blitz - 20th January 2009
PartyGaming has suffered the loss
of one of its key driving forces as John O'Malia,
who missed out on the chief executive's job last
year, quit the online gaming company after only
eight months as managing director.
company said he would be stepping down at the
end of next month to pursue other business interests.
O'Malia's departure comes at an important time
for the company as it seeks to rebuild its once
imperious position in the sector.
settlement with the US department of justice,
which would clear its liabilities in the US, is
understood to be imminent, paving the way for
O'Malia, 39, joined PartyGaming in 2006 when it
bought GameBookers, a sports betting operator
where he was chief executive.
is widely credited for creating a casino product,
for reforming the company's flagship poker website,
and for providing the company with much of its
when the chief executive position fell vacant
last year following the resignation of Mitch Garber,
Mr O'Malia was pipped to the job by Jim Ryan,
a Canadian accountant who made his name in the
high technology industry.
experts said they believed Mr O'Malia was upset
at not getting the top job and that the newly
created job of managing director, as well as a
board position, was insufficient to keep him at
PartyGaming in the long term.
expert said with the new poker site up and running
since the autumn, this was one of the earliest
opportunities for him to leave the company.
O'Malia said: "We have made enormous strides
in repositioning the group's gaming portfolio,
something that I was determined to achieve before
moving on . . . I am looking forward to taking
on fresh business challenges."
Ryan, who will assume Mr O'Malia's duties, said
he had made a significant contribution to the
transformation of PartyGaming in the past two-and-a-half
company was forced to rethink its strategy after
a US clampdown on online gaming in 2006 forced
its exodus from the US, along with other listed
is a natural leader and is keen to fulfil his
potential in a more senior management role that
will play to his considerable industry and management
experience," Mr Ryan said.