by Mateusz Mazur

ZEAL Network SE Announces Executive Board Changes as Sönke Martens Steps Down

ZEAL Network SE, a leading entity in the online lottery market, is undergoing a significant transition in its executive board.

ZEAL Network SE Announces Executive Board Changes as Sönke Martens Steps Down

Sönke Martens, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer, has announced his decision not to renew his board contract, which is set to expire at the end of June 2024. This decision marks the end of an impressive near-decade-long tenure with ZEAL.

Streamlining Executive Board

Effective from 1st December 2023, ZEAL will streamline its executive board to three members. This strategic decision indicates a shift in the company’s executive management approach, aiming for a more consolidated and focused leadership structure.

Martens will officially step down from his role in the ZEAL Executive Board on 30 November 2023. However, he will continue his association with ZEAL until the end of February 2024 to facilitate a smooth transition of his responsibilities.

During his time with ZEAL, Martens has been instrumental in driving the company forward, particularly through his innovative strategies in the LOTTO24 and Tipp24 brands. His leadership has been pivotal in tripling the billings in the core business, integrating LOTTO24 and Tipp24, and significantly enhancing customer lifetime values and new customer acquisition methods.

Appreciation from the Leadership

Peter Steiner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, expressed gratitude towards Martens for his unwavering dedication and innovative contributions to ZEAL’s culture. He said “I would like to thank Sönke Martens for his relentless dedication towards ZEAL and its brands LOTTO24 and Tipp24 in the past years. With his innovative spirit, he has shaped ZEAL’s culture and made significant contributions to making ZEAL a best-in-class e-commerce company and the market leader for online lotteries”

Similarly, Helmut Becker, CEO of ZEAL Network SE, acknowledged Martens’ passion and startup spirit, stating “On behalf of the entire Executive Board I would like to extend my gratitude and best wishes to Sönke for his passion and startup spirit he brought to the company. Only this year, he and his team successfully launched the biggest marketing campaign in the history of LOTTO24. Under his leadership ZEAL tripled billings in the core business, successfully integrated the LOTTO24 and Tipp24 businesses, and achieved a significant improvement in customer lifetime values and the way we win new customers. We regret his decision to leave ZEAL and pursue entrepreneurial opportunities outside of ZEAL, and wish him the best for the future.”

Martens’ Professional Journey with ZEAL

Martens’ journey with ZEAL began in 2014, encompassing various management roles including Head of Product and Managing Director.

He played a critical role in the post-LOTTO24 takeover multi-brand strategy and has been a member of the Executive Board since July 2021, overseeing product management, marketing, customer operations, data science, and the management of ZEAL Iberia and the German LOTTO24 business.

Our Comment on the Article

Sönke Martens’ departure from ZEAL Network SE marks the end of an era for the company. His vision and leadership have not only steered ZEAL through pivotal moments but also set a high bar for innovation and strategic growth in the online lottery space. Martens’ legacy at ZEAL is a testament to the impact of dynamic leadership in transforming a company into a market leader.

As he moves on to pursue new entrepreneurial ventures, one can’t help but anticipate the ripple effects his expertise and innovative mindset will have in the broader business landscape. ZEAL’s decision to streamline its executive board reflects an evolving corporate strategy, likely aiming to foster a more agile and focused approach to leadership and decision-making in the ever-changing online lottery market.

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