Gala picks team to revive fortunes

The Gala bingo chain, which was sold by Bass to a management buy-in for 279m before Christmas, has established the team that will try to turn round the chain’s fortunes. Rick Sowerby, a former board account director at DMB&B, will fill the role of sales and marketing director at Gala, working alongside chief executive John Kelly. The two men led the management buy-in, which was backed by venture capitalist PPM Ventures. Sowerby will also be director of corporate development. He will be joined on the board by PPM directors Alistair Mackintosh and Matthew Turner, and the chairman will be Nat Solomon, also chairman of Crown Leisure. The previous marketing director, Simon Speers, who was appointed by Bass in September, returns to the group along with managing director Brian Ross. They have yet to be assigned new roles. Sowerby says: “Bingo is one of the unsung pastimes and deregulation will make a great difference.” He adds he will work with the chain’s agency JWT Manchester before deciding on an ad review. Sowerby takes up the new position next week.

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