In his first year as chief executive of online gambling company Amaya Inc., Rafi Ashkenazi has made careful moves. Now his appetite for risk is growing.
Promoted after founder David Baazov stepped down amid insider trading charges and poor earnings performance, Ashkenazi has focused on paying down debt, installing a new management team and lessening the company’s exposure to the unstable online-poker business. His pragmatic style of management has helped him regain investors’ confidence, with the stock up 31 percent since he took the helm as interim CEO last March.
This summer, the world’s largest online-poker company will have money to spend after finishing paying for its $4.9 billion purchase of sites PokerStars and Full Tilt, a deal struck in 2014 under Baazov. That means the Pointe-Claire, Quebec, company will be on the hunt for deals.