Thompson to take over at Camelot

Fat cat lottery boss Tim Holley will stand down as chief executive of Camelot if the operator wins its bid to run the next National Lottery licence.

The top job will go to commercial operations director Dianne Thompson, a former marketing director of Woolworth’s and the Signet jewellery chain.

Camelot has vowed to reduce directors’ pay and abolish their special bonus schemes to improve its image ahead of the bidding. Thompson’s remuneration will be pegged at &£330,000, almost half Holley’s income of &£636,000 in 1998. She currently earns &£245,000.

Thompson says: “Holley’s skills are in technology, but we are in the second phase which is to sustain interest in the lottery. That is where my marketing skills come in.”

But Simon Burridge, who heads Richard Branson’s rival People’s Lottery bid, says of the cap on directors’ pay: “It’s a good thing they’re doing, but it raises the question of why they’ve waited so long. This [directors’ pay] has been a running sore on the National Lottery for years. They are only addressing it because the licence is up for renewal.”

Holley, a former boss of Racal, will become chairman of Camelot International Services, the consortium’s overseas division which is helping to run the South African national lottery. But Holley will get no golden handshake. If Camelot’s bid is successful, he will receive a “winner’s bonus”, paid to all Camelot employees and equivalent to their salary over their notice period. In Holley’s case, this will be one year’s basic salary, or some &£300,000.

The issue of Camelot directors’ pay shot to prominence in May 1997, when Marketing Week published leaked information showing Camelot directors had increased their earnings by 40 per cent.

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