OLG Board Appoints Former Harper Security Advisor Stephen Rigby as New CEO

Written By Janice Doughtrey

This week, the Board Chairman of the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation (OLG) Phillip Olsson came out with an announcement that the Board has decided to appoint National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Rigby, as the new OLG President and CEO. Beginning January 05, 2015, Mr. Rigby will assume the position and will be officially in charge of the government-owned lottery business, particularly of its lottery sales in over 9,800 retail outlets and of its 24 gaming sites across the province of Ontario. Based on the latest annual financial reports, the OLG provides the provincial government with at least CA$2 billion a year in non-tax revenue.

The former National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Harper will have 7,000 OLG employees under his helm, and the mandate to oversee the ongoing modernization initiatives, including the integration of the province’s horse racing industry, and the launch by early next year of the online gambling website PlayOLG.com.

According to Chairman Olsson, the Board had selected Stephen Rigby because of “his skills and experience in leading organizational change.” He added that they are confident that Mr. Rigby possesses the best experience for the job and in following through OLG’s modernization plans. The OLG Board of Directors believe that under his leadership, the lottery corporation will stay focused on responsible gambling in its bid to build a robust and sustainable lottery business, gaming facilities, and charitable gaming institutions.

The new President and CEO at OLG, Stephen Rigby, conveyed his eagerness to begin his role, both as part of the OLG Board and of the management team at this pivotal point in OLG’s transformation. Mr. Rigby commits to stay focused on giving his support to make certain that OLG is offering customers only the best possible lottery and gaming experience for the benefit of Ontarians and of the province as a whole.

Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa said he looks forward to working with Mr. Rigby, who will lead the provincial lottery corporation in going forward with its modernization plans. The objectives of which is to increase the returns that help support important priorities for the people of Ontario, such as health care and education, and at the same time promote a viable horse racing industry.

Mr. Rigby is filling in the position vacated early this year by erstwhile OLG CEO Rod Phillip, as the latter decided to leave his post to take a position in the private business sector. Since Mr. Phillip’s decision was abrupt but not necessarily unforeseen, Tom Marinelli , the EVP and Chief Transformation/Information Officer of the provincial lottery corporation has been acting as OLG CEO; while the OLG Board of Directors searched for a suitable replacement for Mr. Phillips.

During the former OLG-CEO’s tenure, Mr. Phillip’s mandate was to transform the provincial lottery corporation by way of modernization, which included plans for casino expansion and for entering the rapidly growing online gambling business. Mr. Phillips succeeded in reversing the OLG’s once troubled status, to become a significant source of non-tax revenue. Under Mr. Phillip’s management, the OLG became capable of generating the highest net profit since 2005. However, as the turn of events has it, the former OLG CEO stepped down from his position even before the modernization plans went into full launch.