Tabcorp CEO steps down after alleged offensive language

Tabcorp CEO steps down after alleged offensive language

Tabcorp CEO Adam Rytenskild.

Allegations of inappropriate and offensive language in the workplace have led Tabcorp (ASX: TAH) managing director and CEO Adam Rytenskild to resign with immediate effect, marking an end to a 23-year career with the gambling company.

Tabcorp made the announcement today after the market close, with the board noting it had become aware of the alleged language which was "inconsistent" with Rytenskild's "continued leadership of the organisation".

This led to a discussion with the board, prompting him to tender his resignation and step down immediately.

Rytenskild will receive only the termination payments required by law and under his contract, and will forfeit all his unvested short-term incentive and long-term incentive awards.

Tabcorp did not specify any details of the language used, and reports it will not be making any further comment in relation to Rytenskild's alleged conduct in order to protect the privacy of those involved.

“I don’t recall making the alleged comment and it’s not language I would usually use, but I have regrettably agreed to resign," says the outgoing CEO, who was appointed to the position in May 2022 after nearly five years as managing director of the group's wagering and media division.

"Tabcorp has been an enormous part of my life for many years and I believe in the journey the company is on."

Rytenskild had held various managerial roles since 2000, including several-year stints as chief operating officer for keno and gaming, and executive general manager of distribution.

"The board regrets that Mr Rytenskild’s employment has ended in this way and acknowledges his commitment to Tabcorp’s growth over more than two decades, including the last two years as MD and CEO and his contribution to the tranformation of the company," says Tabcorp chairman Bruce Akhurst, who himself will be taking on additional duties as executive chairman while a search is on for Rytenskild's replacement.

"Today’s change does not impact the strategic direction of the company. We have the depth and capability across the executive and the senior leadership team to continue our transformation.

"We remain focused on executing our strategy at pace, transforming our competitiveness, growing market share, levelling the playing field for fees, taxes and regulation, and reshaping the business to deliver a more efficient and effective organisation. Tabcorp is on track to deliver this and create a growing and more valuable company for shareholders."

In the eight months leading up to mid-January this year, Victoria's gambling regulator charged Tabcorp, along with nine venues, for offences related to allowing a minor within a gaming machine area, allowing a minor to gamble, and failing to reasonably supervise the terminals.

In response, the company issued a Victoria-wide direction that Tabcorp’s betting terminals cannot accept cash bets unless they are within five metres, and in the line of sight of the counter.

If found guilty the company would face a maximum fine of just under $1 million, and Tabcorp was already fined $1 million in September last year after failing to comply with directions following investigations into a system outage during the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival.

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