William Hill fires seven managers, resumes online operations in Israel
By Aaron Todd
"The group can now confirm that normal operations have resumed and that William Hill Online remains committed to its operation in Tel Aviv," the company said in a statement.
The Telegraph is reporting that Ralph Topping, William Hill's chief executive, fired the managers after ex-Israeli intelligence officers "found plans for a rival business and that a rabbi, fish feeder and hairdresser were on the books."
William Hill has reportedly agreed to pay £2 million in severance to dismissed staff. The severance pay is part of a deal that saw the dismissed staff sign non-compete agreements, according to the Guardian.
The rift appeared to begin with Eyal Sanoff's alleged refusal to share William Hill Online (WHO) accounting information with William Hill executives. Sanoff is a friend of Teddy Sagi, the founder and 40 percent shareholder of Playtech, which in turn owns 29 percent of WHO. Sanoff resigned in late September.
Last week, nearly all of the WHO employees in Tel Aviv walked out, apparently worried that their office may be shut down and moved to Gibraltar. William Hill responded by offering employees who returned to work by Oct. 23 an extra month's pay in November and another month of bonus pay in June 2012. Employees were also given assurances that they would have at least six months’ notice if William Hill decided to terminate their position for any reason other than poor performance.
The Telegraph reports that several William Hill executives will stay behind in Tel Aviv to supervise the office for a few months.