Denise Coates became the UK’s most successful CEO after a pay hike to £277m per year. Ms. Coates owes her lofty position to her stake in the online gambling company Bet365. Coates is the co-founder of Bet365 and 50% shareholder, with a net worth of £9.3 billion ($12.2 billion).
Denise Coates co-founded Bet365 with her brother John Coates in 2000. After earning her degree in econometrics from Sheffield University, she joined the High Street betting firm, which was run by her father. She later saw the huge potential of online gambling and invested in the domain name Bet365.com.
Bet365 raked in £64.5 billion in bets over the last financial year, up nearly 25% from the previous year. The company took in £800 million in profit before taxes, and Ms. Coates has been paid over £1 billion over the past 3 years in salary plus dividends. She has been the highest paid CEO in the UK for 3 years in a row.
The mammoth success of Bet365 is due in part to the expert knowledge of its owners as well as making the right investments at the right time. Online gambling continues to grow around the world, and the Coates clan carved out their stakes early.
Talk About Timing
According to the income-monitoring think tank High Pay Centre, the timing of Ms. Coates’ pay rise looked “cynical” because it occurred directly after UK’s general election.
“This looks like cynical timing, sneaked out straight after a general election campaign where excess wealth, taxes on the rich and the vast gap between those at the top and everybody else have been key issues,” said High Pay Centre executive director Luke Hildyard.
The news also comes at a time when Britain is doubling down in its commitment to combat gambling addiction. The recent addition of special AI systems in gambling machines in the UK is part of a concerted effort to address the negative effects of gambling.
Female CEOs in the UK and the U.S. are increasingly more common, and their annual pay often exceeds their male counterparts. However, female company bosses remain greatly outnumbered.
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