RAFI ASHKENAZI NAMED CEO OF RATIONAL GROUP
ONCHAN, Isle of Man – November 4, 2015 – Rafi Ashkenazi has been named chief executive officer of the Rational Group, Amaya Inc.’s online gaming division which includes the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands, the company announced today.
Ashkenazi is an experienced gaming industry executive and joined the Rational Group in January 2013 as Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all customer-facing product and back-office functions for PokerStars and Full Tilt including marketing, customer support, poker room management, IT management, payment processing & security, and game integrity. Earlier this year Ashkenazi became Senior Vice President of Strategy for Amaya Inc., reporting to Amaya CEO David Baazov.
Prior to joining the Rational Group, Ashkenazi was Chief Operating Officer of Playtech, a global gaming software company.
“Rafi has been working very closely this year with our executive management team and returns to Rational Group with an even greater knowledge of our corporate strategy, vision and goals,” said Baazov. “Combining this knowledge with his operational expertise makes him an ideal leader for the Rational Group.”
“I look forward to re-joining the excellent team at Rational Group and working with them to continue to extend our leadership in online gaming,” Ashkenazi said. “We have great opportunities in the near future with our upcoming launch in New Jersey, the expansion of our casino and sports-betting businesses and our mission to grow the poker category.”
Ashkenazi assumes his role on November 9 and interim CEO Michael Hazel will assist during a brief transition period before departing the company. Rational Group Chief Operating Officer Israel Rosenthal and Director of Business Development and Strategy Guy Templer will continue in their roles and report to Ashkenazi. All three executives are based in the Isle of Man.
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About Rational Group
Rational Group operates gaming and related businesses and brands including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, StarsDraft, the European Poker Tour, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Latin American Poker Tour and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. These brands collectively form the largest poker business in the world, comprising online poker games and tournaments, live poker competitions and poker programming created for television and online audiences. In addition to operating two of the world’s largest online poker sites, the group is also the largest producer of live poker events around the world. More than 800 live tournaments are held annually, awarding over $215 million in prize money. More than 50,000 players compete in flagship Main Event tournaments every year, representing over 100 different countries. Through certain of its brands, Rational Group also offers non-poker gaming products, including casino, sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Rational Group is owned by Amaya Inc. (Nasdaq: AYA; TSX: AYA).