How did you come to Betfair?
I was working for Flutter which was started by two Americans and was based in London. Flutter was behind Betfair but growing. I spoke to the founder of Flutter and asked him how the company was doing as my wife was renting a house in California. He told me they were going to merge with Betfair. I rang my wife and told her to forget about renting a house in California and get on the next plane to London. I was working at Betfair a month later.
What were you doing prior to Flutter?
I was working for AltaVista which was a search engine for one year.
Before Betfair you had only worked for US companies – was Betfair a different experience?
I have been working for internet businesses for 15 years and they have all been quite similar. Betfair feels very like an American company €“ headed up by driven entrepreneurs.
What was your first job at Betfair?
Strictly speaking my first job was to create an engineering team from the two existing teams – I remember sitting next to a smelly contractor! Later I became CTO (Chief Technology Officer).
You later became CEO (Chief Executive Officer), moving from one hot seat to another. Do you enjoy these stressful roles?
Yes, I do. The CEO job is tough because the solutions to your problems are often very unclear, whereas in technology you generally know what you have to do. Betfair is a very big and complex business and heading it up is extremely challenging, but it€™s also great fun.
What do you think has got you to the top?
A good manager has to build a top class team around him, and this is particularly important for a CEO. At Betfair there is a team of nine senior executives who are all very good in their areas.
What do you see for the future for Betfair?
Betfair will continue to grow and innovate and will continue to give it€™s customers the best value in an honest and proper way.
Ned and George