David Baazov Resigns from Amaya Gaming CEO Post
Troubled Amaya Gaming CEO, David Baazov is resigning his post just months after taking a leave of absence to fight charges of insider trading. While Baazov’s move came as a surprise to the gambling world, it was welcomed with open arms by Amaya Gaming shareholders.
Baazov announced his big move on Friday afternoon and the company quickly announced that Rafi Ashkenazi would be stepping up into Amaya Gaming’s top spot. Ashkenazi has been acting as the company’s interim CEO since March, when news broke that Baazov was being charged with a slew of financial crimes in Quebec.
In a statement to the Globe and Mail, Amaya Gaming officials explained the importance of the move saying:
It became clear to Mr. Baazov that Amaya needed to secure a permanent steward for the company. Even if the company is engaged in an ongoing strategic process, it needs a clear leader to run the day-to-day operations.
Baazov’s departure ends a tumultuous period in the gaming giant’s history that was marked by sky-high successes and a slew of legal battles that threatened to undo everything Baazov achieved. Of course Baazov’s biggest achievement at Amaya Gaming was securing the purchase of PokerStars from the US Department of Justice. That deal was worth something north of $5 billion (USD).
Had his legal troubles not sideswiped his ambitions, Baazov was also in the process of transitioning Amaya Gaming from a publicly held, to a privately held company.
Though his resignation was effective as of August 11, Baazov’s absence won’t have much impact on Amaya Gaming’s day-to-day operations.