Society lottery operator The Health Lottery has appointed Lebby Eyres as its chief executive officer. Lebby joined the business in January and has been working through a handover period with outgoing CEO Des Duffy, who left the company this week.
Lebby has a long history with The Health Lottery’s parent company Northern & Shell, having previously worked for the business for more than 14 years. Her most recent role in the company was as editor-in-chief of new! and Star magazines, publications she headed up for five years between 2013 and 2018.
Martin Ellice, joint group managing director at Northern & Shell, said: “We are delighted to welcome Lebby back into the Northern & Shell family. In her previous roles she was a strong leader and played an integral role in the company’s strategy. In particular, she was a key player in the transformation of the media business from print-led to digital-first prior to its sale to Reach PLC.
“The Health Lottery is going through a similar transition, and is moving towards a more data-driven approach. We believe Lebby will do an excellent job of managing the different and exciting opportunities presented by both the digital and retail arms of the business.”
Eyres will oversee a relaunch of The Health Lottery’s website this summer, as well as the introduction of a new brand identity.
She said: “I am excited to take up this new challenge. The Health Lottery is a really impressive business and brand, with innovative lottery games such as All or Nothing and QuickWin helping attract new players and drive engagement. I’m looking forward to substantially growing the business further.
“On a personal level, I’m pleased the timing of my taking over as the company’s first female CEO falls just ahead of International Women’s Day. Coming from a different industry, it has quickly become apparent to me there are few women at the top of gambling organisations. I’m happy to now be part of that small group and I hope that in the future I can play a role in attracting more women into what is a very innovative and rewarding industry to work in.”
As well as drawing on her experience managing business transformations, she plans to put her health journalism background to good use by improving the storytelling used in the business.
She said: “Our Good Causes work is built into our name, unlike any other lottery, so people know that the money raised through The Health Lottery goes towards health issues.
“However, some people don’t realise our focus is on addressing health inequalities and the most disadvantaged members of society, and I want to make that clear by publicising the stories of the people who benefit. These compelling stories will focus on individuals whose lives are being transformed by the projects funded through us, and will get to the heart of how we’ve helped them. I think today’s players really want to know where the Good Causes element of their ticket is going.”
Eyres is a keen charity fundraiser herself and recently rowed across the Atlantic to raise funds for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, the Felix Fund and Women in Sport.