David Baazov has had a tough 2016 after inside trading chargers were filed against him by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) earlier this year. The authorities charged the then chief executive officer of Canadian based Amaya Inc with five counts of insider trading along with some of the other key executives in Amaya Inc.
Baazov was alleged to have participated in insider trading during the purchase of PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world. Baazov denied all charges and vowed to fight the case and prove his innocence. Although Baazov received the full support of Amaya’s board of directors, he decided that it was in the best interest of the company to step down temporarily from his post of chief executive officer and chairman. The company accepted his temporary resignation and appointed Rafi Ashkenazi as interim CEO and Divyesh Gadhia as interim chairman of the board.
The charges against Baazov included communicating privileged information, influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya inc and aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information. Josh Baazov, the brother of David Baazov was also charged by the authorities.
David Baazov has now decided to permanently resign from all positions in Amaya Inc and the board has accepted his resignation. In a statement, the board said “Amaya thanks Mr. Baazov for his contributions to Amaya since its inception and through its rapid growth.” Amaya Inc has appointed Rafi Ashkenazi as the full time CEO and Divyesh Gadhia as the full time chairman of the board, now that Baazov has resigned.
Baazov stated that he was proud of his accomplishments in helping build Amaya Inc into the successful enterprise that it is today and remained supportive of the management and its plans for future growth. Things have changed remarkably for Baazov during the last eight months as he went from being the chairman and CEO of one of the biggest gambling enterprises in the world to someone who now has no ties with Amaya Inc at all.
There were talks earlier this year that Baazov along with a team of investors were planning to buy-out Amaya Inc in an all cash transaction and turn the company into a private company. Local media reports suggest that the discussions on the deal are still moving forward but it is hard to imagine how the deal will go down when Baazov still has his name under a cloud.