Controversy has been hanging over Amaya Gaming for some time now, as CEO David Baazov has seen his name bandied about in not so positive terms in 2016. Back in March, Baazov took a leave of absence from the company, when insider-trading charges were brought against him. After much deliberation it seems that he has taken the decision to cut all ties with Amaya Gaming, leaving his position as CEO with immediate effect.
In the eyes of most, his resignation was inevitable, with Amaya Gaming moving quickly to appoint a permanent replacement. The company has announced that Rafi Ashkenazi, current interim CEO, will now take on the position on a permanent basis. Speaking on his decision to leave the company, Baazov said, ““I am proud of my contributions in building Amaya into the successful company it is today, and continue to be supportive of its strategy and management.”
The charges that Baazov is facing seemingly worked to make his position with the company untenable. Five charges in total were brought against him by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), some of which also involved his brother Josh Baazov. All legal matters steam from the Amaya Gaming acquisition of the Rational Group, a deal the came in at a hefty $4.9 billion. Baazov was accused of using private company information to trade shares while negotiations related to the deal were taking place.
Through an official press release Amaya Gaming thanked Baazov for his work and contributions to brand, having played a key role in its rapid growth within the industry. In the press release the company also stated that it was looking forward to experience continued growth and success under new permanent CEO Ashkenazi, as he spearheads new projects and marketing strategies.