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Party’s Over For CEO Richard Segal

Alternate Headline: Lindsay Lohan Has Perfectly Shaped Breasts, Still Needs to Eat a Sandwich (warning: semi NSFW)

Story provided by: Beans

SegalParty Gaming CEO, Richard Segal, has stepped down for personal reasons. According to the press release, he and PartyGaming decided that the CEO of the PartyGaming entity should be located permanently in Gibraltar. As such, PartyGaming wanted Segal to move from Foggy London Town, where he resides with his family, to Gibraltar, the big rock where the PartyGaming empire is centered.

"Given the rapid growth of the company, he and the board agree that the CEO now needs to be located in Gibraltar along with all the other executive directors," PartyGaming said in a statement.

This coming on the heels of an extremely successful year in which PartyGaming brought in revenues of $978 million, a 62% increase from $602 million in 2004.

There seem to be two ways to look at this story:

The first being that Richard Segal wanted to leave PartyGaming, the second being that PartyGaming wanted him gone. Why not believe the story as released, you may ask? It just doesn’t add up to me.

While I am not advocating either viewpoint at this time, I would like to point out some things that cause me to question the somewhat flimsy excuse of, “not wanting to move”, given by Segal and PartyGaming (referred to from here on as PG).

Apparently, at about the time of last years’s IPO, Segal and PG agreed that he would commute from London to Gibraltar. Which on a corporate jet would take about as much time as most of us commute to work on a daily basis, at least here in Atlanta. Add to this that CEO’s rarely spend a lot of time “in the office” so to speak (it’s not like they sit in a cubicle all day in front of a computer screen answering the phone). Why would PG all of a sudden require that he relocate to Gibraltar?

Take this quote by Michael Jackson (no jokes here), non-executive Chairman of PG:

“PartyGaming’s IPO and subsequent success has been due in large part to the leadership of Richard Segal, the Group’s CEO. It is therefore with regret that we are announcing Richard’s departure. On behalf of all stakeholders we thank him for his substantial contribution and wish him every success for the future.”

GimapIf Segal was so instrumental to the success of the company, why be such a stickler over his relocation an hour’s flight south of his home? Why not work around his family obligations in order to keep him at the helm? With today’s communication technology, he could have sat in at every meeting via teleconference and been at the office in an hour to two hours in case of emergency (what would constitute a poker emergency?).

On Segals’ side, he is not announcing that he is leaving for another position, nor is he announcing his retirement. He is just announcing that he wants to stay in London, with his family. A man as successful and driven as this does not stay still for long, but where will he show up next? Is this departure the precursor of a move to a rival, or possibly to a different segment of the leisure industry?

So why would either party wish to be done with the other party (no pun intended)? Unfortunately, I don’t have any conspiracy theories to unveil at this time, just some food for thought. Maybe the answer will present itself in time. Right now, Segal’s departure and the stated reasons behind it raise more questions than the press release answers.

Plus, have you ever been to Gibraltar? It’s like a little bit of England, with much better weather. There are pubs and, well, other pubs, but it does feel British….and there are lots of monkeys.

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