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Hills director Spearing to retire in December

IAN SPEARING, who has been in the front of line of bookmaking management with Ladbrokes and then William Hill for over 20 years, is retiring at the end of December "to play a lot of golf and take a lot of holidays," though he will not lost to the industry entirely.

Spearing, 61, revealed on Tuesday,after an announcement about his future was made to the stock exchange, that he would continue to act as a consultant for Hills when he steps down from his position as corporate affairs director.

However, he added: "I'll see the levy negotiations through this year, butthen it will probably a good time for a fresh pair of eyes to look over betting-industry politics, which I've been involved with for quite some time."

Spearing entered the bookmaking world with Ladbrokes in 1971, and rose to become managing director of their European operation, before he joined Hills in 1990.                      

Eventually installed as managing director of Hills' UK retail division, Spearing was appointed to the board in April last year, along with Ralph Topping, and together they steered the ship after the September departure of chief executive David Harding, before Topping was appointed to the position in February.

By the time Topping took the lead role over, Spearing had cut down his working hours, in an agreement made with Harding and in preparation for eventual retirement.

Hills will not replace Spearing. The statement said that his current responsibilities would be shared among existing members of the executive management team.

Hills' chairman Charles Scott said: "Ian fulfilled a number of significant roles, including working with the government and the bookmaking industry in relation to taxation, regulation and issues involving the relationship with horse and greyhound racing.

"His experience and contribution to the company will be greatly missed, and we wish him a long and happy retirement."


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