Dianne Thompson, Andy Duncan, Nigel Railton

Camelot boss Dianne Thompson is retiring, with Andy Duncan (centre) and Nigel Railton (right) stepping up to two newly created CEO roles

Camelot CEO Dianne Thompson CBE is stepping down after 14 years leading the National Lottery company.

Thompson, who joined as commercial operations director in 1997 and became CEO in 2000, will retire on 31 October, Camelot said today.

Her departure coincides with a separation of the group into UK and overseas branches. Andy Duncan – currently MD of Camelot UK – will become CEO of Camelot UK Lotteries Limited. Meanwhile Nigel Railton – currently group CFO and strategy director – will become CEO of Camelot Global Services Limited. Both will report to Camelot Group chairman Lee Sienna.

Camelot said the changes would provide the “best possible platform for continued future growth, both in the UK and overseas”.

“She leaves a lasting legacy, with the group in the best possible position to build on her achievements”

Lee Sienna

Sienna paid tribute to Thompson’s leadership over the last 14 years, during which time she won two licence competitions, secured a four-year extension of the Lottery’s current licence to 2023, and pursued charitable causes.

“Dianne Thompson’s contribution to Camelot and the worldwide lottery sector has been immense. Under her leadership, the UK National Lottery has gone from strength to strength – with long-term sales growth of over 35% and more than £21bn raised for National Lottery Good Causes during her time as chief executive,” Sienna said.

“She leaves a lasting legacy, with the group in the best possible position to build on her achievements.”

Thompson said that running Camelot had been her “dream job”: “I will look back over the last 14 years with great fondness and pride. I feel privileged to have worked with such fantastic colleagues, who have always put National Lottery players – and the Good Causes we ultimately support – at the heart of everything we do.”

Thompson had initially planned to leave in 2012, but had been asked to stay on at the behest of Camelot Group owner Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. She will continue to be available to Camelot in an advisory capacity, the company said, while pursuing “other business and charitable interests”. These include running the George Hotel in Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.

Andy Duncan, who has been with the company since 2011, is credited by Camelot with turning around the long-term sales decline of its flagship game Lotto by relaunching it in 2013, as well as pushing forward its digital services. Previously he was best known as CEO of Channel 4, from 2004 to 2009.

“I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to build on all of Dianne’s achievements, which have seen Camelot become a world-leading multi-channel lottery operator,” Duncan said. “We already lead the world in digital lottery innovation and this will become even more of a key focus in the years ahead.”

Nigel Railton joined Camelot in 1998 as financial controller and became finance director in 2003, joining the Camelot board in 2006. He helped drive the sale of Camelot to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in 2010, and took up his current role the same year.

“Having worked very closely with her for the last 16 years, I am indebted to Dianne for all of her guidance – especially as we have pressed ahead with our global expansion plans,” Railton said. “With a number of international consultancy contracts won and some ambitious plans on the horizon, this is a really exciting time for Camelot Global – and I’m very much looking forward to building on these successes.”