Ainsworth appoints new product officer

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
Ainsworth Game Technology appoints new chief product officer

Australian-based poker machine manufacturer Ainsworth Game Technology has named a new chief product officer.

GGR Asia reports that David Bollesen has joined Ainsworth after being the vice president of game studios at a “major gaming company within Australia”, according to a filing by the Australian Securities Exchange.

He is said to have more than 25 years of experience in the digital entertainment sector.

The newcomer will head Ainsworth Game’s game-development teams globally, aiming to boost “game performance and market share”, according to the statement.

He will be based at the firm’s head office in Sydney.

“David has led and collaborated on numerous video games and slot machine products with proven success,” Danny Gladstone, the firm’s chairman said.

Mr Bollensen was quoted as saying: “With the right strategies in place there is an opportunity to build on the company’s strong foundations and deliver new products that gamers are looking for.”

New CEO joins Ainsworth

The group, controlled by Austria-based casino technology supplied Novomatic AG, also said that its new chief executive officer Harald Neumann would have an initial remuneration package of US$600,000 per year.

The appointment of Neumann comes as the firm’s chief executive, Lawrenc Levy, stepped down on September 10, 2021 after being at the helm of the business for 15 months.

Announcing Levy’s departure, the company also announced Neumann’s appointment.

“Mr Neumann’s appointment in the role is subject to regulatory approvals and the completion of contractual details,” Ainsworth said at the time.

Ainsworth chief financial officer Mark Ludski was interim CEO ahead of Neumann’s official appointment.

A director of Ainsworth since February 2017, Neumann will remain a director of the company, albeit in an executive capacity.

He was previously the chief executive officer of Austria-based gaming equipment maker and operator Novomatic AG.

He stepped down from that role in February 2020.

Ainsworth chairman Danny Gladstone said the group was pleased to welcome Neumann to the top role.

“We are fortunate to be able to appoint Harald as our new CEO.

“As a former successful CEO of Novomatic AG, our major shareholder, and a director of Ainsworth, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role with a thorough understanding of Ainsworth.”

He added: “Harald will be based in Las Vegas where he can lead Ainsworth in our largest market continuing to drive growth and recovery.”

Ainsworth posts financial year loss

The poker machine maker reported a full-year loss after tax of A$53.4 million last financial year, up from A$50.1 million a year earlier.

The company said the effects of COVID-19 “impacted” it’s financial performance in the 12 months to June 30, as it recorded “one-off non-cash impairment charges” during the period.

Nonetheless, the company said it saw a recovery in the second half of the financial year. 

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of A$15.5 million, up from A$5.8 million a year earlier, included EBITDA of A$1.1 million for the first half of FY21 and A$14.4 million in the second half.

According to Ainsworth’s FY21 results release, international markets contributed 76 per cent of the group’s total revenue at A$120.5 million, with revenue from North American up 23 per cent year-on-year to A$88.5 million.

The Australian region also performed well, with revenue up 38 per cent year-on-year and EBITDA by 15 per cent to A$5.4 million including increases in all states except Victoria.

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