|Jean Noelting, chief executive of online casino software company CryptoLogic Inc., resigned unexpectedly on Monday. Noelting had been with the company for 18 months, after taking over from founders Mark and Andrew Rivkin.|
During Noelting’s stint as CEO, Cryptologic faced many challenges, in common with the rest of the online gambling industry, many of them related to the ongoing legal battles against online gambling in the US. Other problems included lawsuits from casino licensees against CryptoLogic subsidiary Wager Logic, and the announcement that Cryptologic would have to write off its $9.5-million investment in Sports.com Ltd., a UK-based online gaming business that was forced into bankruptcy protection in May.
The company’s share price had dropped by $17.21 - 61% since the start of this year. Shares in the company fell a further 7% yesterday, closing at $10.90.
Brandon Osten, an analyst with Sprott Securities, says Noelting’s tenure was dogged by the ongoing regulatory issues in the US, and the attendant problems with credit card transactions involving online casinos.
'There's been lots of bad news surrounding the company, but much of it is industry-wide problems,' said Osten.
CryptoLogic denied Noelting had been fired, saying his resignation came about through a mutual agreement with the company's board of directors. Noelting’s successor will be Lewis Rose, whose previous job was as president of Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. and president of the grocery products division of Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
Rose says there are challenges facing CryptoLogic, but added the company would not shy away from doing business in the United States: 'We expect to continue growing our business in Europe while also pursuing growth in the US'