888 selects Yariv Dafna as new CFO
888 Holdings has appointed Yariv Dafna as its new chief financial officer, replacing Aviad Kobrine, who announced his departure in January.
Dafna will join the online gaming operator – and Kobrine will step down – on 1 November and will also serve on its board.
“I am delighted to welcome Yariv Dafna as 888’s new chief financial officer,” 888 chairman Brian Mattingley said. “Yariv's experience and drive made him the standout candidate for the role, and we are very pleased he has decided to join the Group at such an important time in 888’s continued growth and development.
“On behalf of everyone at 888, I would like to reiterate my gratitude to Aviad for his significant contribution and achievements over the last 15 years with the Group and we wish him every success for the future.”
Dafna joins 888 from internet-of-things business Telit Communications, where he served as finance director and president since November 2017. Prior to this he was Telit’s chief corporate development officer, chief operating officer and chief financial operator, having worked at the business since 2003.
Dafna has also worked at Deloitte Israel and Israeli telecommunications business Dai Telecom.
In June, 888 announced that it expects to post higher-than-forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for 2020, thanks to a structural shift towards online services and particularly strong growth in poker amid the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. In 2019, 888's revenue increased to a record high of $560.3m (£451.6m/€499.6m), but profits declined due to increased taxes and expenses related to regulatory requirements.
“I am looking forward to working closely with Yariv as we continue to focus on delivering 888’s long-term growth strategy,” 888 chief executive Itai Pazner said. “I would also like to extend my personal gratitude to Aviad for his support and friendship over the years.”
Dafna said 888’s technology and platform were a key reason why he opted to join the operator.
“I am excited to be joining such a fantastic business at a pivotal time in its development,” Dafna said. “888 has world-class technology and a unique platform for continued growth in the dynamic global online gaming market.
“I am looking forward to helping the business continue to deliver against its strategic objectives and create value for all stakeholders.”
Kobrine joined 888 in 2004 ahead of the operator’s initial public offering (IPO), and will step down from the CFO role after 15 years following Dafna's appointment.
“I am incredibly proud of what the 888 team has achieved together throughout my time with the business and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fantastic colleagues with whom I have had the pleasure and honour of working with over the last 15 years,” Kobrine said.