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Former CEO David Baazov Permanently Out at Amaya

David Baazov


  • PokerStars parent company Amaya has a new CEO and chairman after David Baazov resigned.

In the wake of charges of insider trading, Amaya co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer David Baazov has "resigned all positions within the company," The Canadian Press reported today.

Baazov stepped aside for a voluntary leave of absence in late March after Quebec securities regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) leveled five charges against Baazov for "aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information, influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya inc., and communicating privileged information." A number of others were also charged with insider trading in the sting, including Baazov's brother, Josh.

"These allegations are false and I intend to vigorously contest these accusations," David Baazov said at the time. "While I am deeply disappointed with the AMF's decision, I am highly confident I will be found innocent of all charges."

Rafi Ashkenazi, who was made interim CEO, will take over the position permanently for the parent company of PokerStars. Interim Chairman of the Board Divyesh Gadhia will also have the interim tag removed.

"Amaya thanks Mr. Baazov for his contributions to Amaya since its inception and through its rapid growth, and looks forward to Mr. Ashkenazi’s continued success in leading the execution of Amaya’s strategy," the company said in a press release.

Baazov also left comment in the same release:

“I am proud of my contributions in building Amaya into the successful company it is today, and continue to be supportive of its strategy and management.”

While the book might appear closed for Baazov at Amaya, there still remains the matter of his stated intention to take over the publicly traded company via an all-cash offer. SBCNews reported that, per Amaya, "discussions are still advancing" on that front.

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