Svenska Spel welcomes seasoned financial executive Anna Johnson as new CEO

Swedish state-owned gaming operator Svenska Spel has appointed seasoned executive Anna Johnson as its new CEO. She is slated to assume the helm no later than June 2024, succeeding Patrik Hofbauer, who resigned in October.

A financial consultancy luminary, Johnson currently serves as a partner and CEO in Sweden of global accounting services group Grant Thornton. Having steered the ship there for the past seven years, she has expressed eager anticipation about “leading Svenska Spel’s journey of change.”

Erik Strand, Chairman of the Board of Svenska Spel, said: “Anna Johnson has a successful leadership based on inclusion and building strong teams that create customer value which has resulted in profitable growth over the years. The board and I are very much looking forward to working together with Anna and her management team.”

Johnson commented on joining Svenska Spel: “This is a fantastic opportunity, and I am both grateful and humble for the trust. Svenska Spel is known as Sweden’s premier gaming company with many well-known gaming experiences.”

The group has a unique position and opportunity to drive sustainable gaming that contributes both joy and excitement for the benefit of the Swedish people and Swedish sports. I am really looking forward to leading Svenska Spel’s change journey together with the employees and continuing to create results.”

The outgoing CEO, Patrik Hofbauer, is poised to embark on a new chapter as the CEO and President of Telia Company, effective February 1. Strand will assume the role of Interim CEO until Johnson officially takes the reins. 

The announcement comes at a crucial juncture for the Swedish gambling industry. Johnson’s appointment follows a recent audit by Sweden’s National Audit of industry regulator Spelinspektionen to assess the latter’s effectiveness in the re-regulated market.

Notably, unlicensed website traffic has surged, with data from operator ATG indicating a channelization rate of 70% to 82% for regulated online gambling in Q3. Additionally, the Swedish parliament is set to deliberate on a hike in gambling income taxes, from the current 18% to 22%.