UK-based betting and gaming operator Ladbrokes plc announced today the appointment of John Kelly as Chairman of the company’s Board. Mr. Kelly has taken the post immediately, after former Ladbrokes Chairman Peter Erskine stepped down from the position on December 3. The gambling company also announced that Mark Pain has been appointed as Non-Executive Director and Chairman of its Audit Committee.

Former Ladbrokes Chairman Peter Erskine made public his intentions to leave the Board on May 7, 2015. With the overwhelmingly positive shareholder vote for the proposed £2.3-billion merger with rival operator Coral Group, Mr. Erskine left the Board formally, handing the role to his successor. Mr. Kelly will also be Chairman of the combined entity Ladbrokes Coral Plc, provided that the merger receives the necessary regulatory approval.

Commenting on his new post, Mr. Kelly said that he considers it a great honor to be Chairman of the major gambling company, especially at such an important stage in its history. The official added that they will now follow the “aggressive organic plan” introduced by CEO Jim Mullen and will work hard towards the completion of the proposed merger.

Mr. Kelly also did not miss to acknowledge his predecessor’s hard work to “steer the business through a much needed modernization” and his help at the times when the company was facing major challenges.

Apart from being appointed as Chairman of the Board, Mr. Kelly has also taken the role of Chair of the company’s Nomination Committee. He has also joined the Remuneration Committee and has left his position as member of Ladbrokes’ Audit and Social Responsibility Committees. Sly Bailey is to replace Mr. Kelly in the operator’s Social Responsibility Committee.

As mentioned above, Ladbrokes also announced today the appointment of Mark Pain as Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee. He will retain the post even after the completion of the Coral Group merger. The gambling company explained Mr. Pain’s appointment with his significant experience on leading positions.

Ladbrokes said that it is to appoint additional Non-Executive Directors to its Board ahead of the merger’s completion. The operator noted that it has been looking for a replacement for Senior Independent Director. Christine Hodgson is currently taking the post until a permanent replacement is found.