11 Jan Why did Shay Segev quit Ladbrokes owner Entain for Len Blavatnik startup DAZN? (Here’s a clue: $$$)
o tell me, Shay, what did you see in the billionaire Len Blavatnik?
The sums on offer by the wily tycoon to lure Shay Segev to his fledgling sport streaming website will have been truly astonishing to beat the wealth and status of running a FTSE 100 gambling empire. Particularly when said empire is in pole position to make billions from US deregulation.
Blavatnik’s DAZN, a global sports streaming site, has decent prospects, too, but you have to wonder why Segev would leave such a prestigious Footsie gig just six months after landing it.
Fair enough, DAZN could float one day and make him a squillionaire, but it’s a big gamble to quit the FTSE 100 for.
Unless, that is, Segev doesn’t see much chance of Entain retaining its independence and, hence, his plum position at the top of it.
That would be a fair assessment for him to make.
The share price remains stubbornly above MGM’s offer, suggesting the market reckons the Americans will come back with more. And so they should, given Entain’s excellent market position.
(Of course, Segev’s exit makes a takeover even more likely.)
The flip side in Segev’s head will have been this: if MGM walks away, Entain’s shares — and his bonus potential — will crash, leaving him kicking himself even more for not heading to DAZN.
And, lest we forget, the board waived bonuses for this year and put Segev on a £600,000 basic compared with his predecessor Kenny Alexander’s £800k.
Segev already has around £25 million of Entain shares, so money’s not exactly tight.
But you can see why a fat Blavatnik chequebook was so tempting.