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Bwin.party moves to sole CEO as Ryan retires

LONDON (Reuters) - Online gaming company bwin.party said Norbert Teufelberger would head the company on his own from January when current co-CEO Jim Ryan retires and goes back to his native Canada.

Teufelberger and Ryan have run the company together since PartyGaming merged with bwin in March 2011 to create the world's largest listed online gaming group.

Ryan is only 51 but has a family and wants to return to Canada after living in Gibraltar for several years.

He will be paid a year's salary of 573,000 euros when he leaves in mid-January, in line with his one-year rolling contract.

Teufelberger, an Austrian, joined bwin in 1999 having previously worked for a decade in the gaming industry.

"The transition to regulated markets is continuing and we are entering a period of intense product and technology innovation that will now be led by Norbert Teufelberger, whose experience, as one of the pioneers in online gaming, is probably unrivalled," said Simon Duffy, non-executive chairman of bwin.party.

Teufelberger hit the headlines last month when he was questioned by the Belgian authorities in a dispute over licences.

Bwin.party shares edged 0.5p higher to 109.5p by 0910 GMT on Wednesday.

(Writing by Keith Weir)