California Lottery chief Robert O'Neill resigns

July 15, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • A digital sign at a doughnut store in Oakland displays lottery jackpots after California joined the Powerball game.
A digital sign at a doughnut store in Oakland displays lottery jackpots… (John G. Mabanglo / EPA )

The turnover at the top of the California Lottery continues with Robert O’Neil deciding to step down at the end of the day Monday after 18 months as director.

The lottery will be headed on an interim basis by Chief Deputy Director Paula LaBrie until Gov. Jerry Brown makes a new appointment, according to Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the lottery.

Brown removed Joan Borucki as lottery director shortly after his election in 2010, and the post was filled on an interim basis by Linh Nguyen until the governor appointed O’Neill, who was a principal at KPMG.

In an email to lottery staff on Friday, O’Neill said he was resigning “to pursue other personal and professional interests.”

“The past 18 months have been an eye-opening, challenging and rewarding experience for me,” he wrote. “I found that the lottery essentially is a small city, operating 24/7 and 365 days a year.”

Lottery sales grew under O’Neill to $4.4 billion last year, with $1.2 billion going to schools, Traverso said. During his term, the state entered the multistate Powerball game.

“Still, there is more to accomplish,” he wrote to employees. “The lottery has just adopted a three-year strategic focus that includes: enhancing our products by launching a $20 Scratchers ticket; expanding retailer recruitment; growing our players by reaching out to lapsed and new players; and continuing to retool the lottery’s infrastructure and business processes.”


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