In slightly more than a year after being appointed president and chief operating officer of WMS Industries, Brian R. Gamache last week was named the company’s chief executive officer and elected to serve on the board of directors.
Gamache will continue to hold the post of president, but the COO position will remain unfilled, at least for the present. He assumes the CEO position from Louis J. Nicastro, who will remain as non-executive chairman but will no longer have day-to-day management duties with the company.
"The success Brian and his team of executives have achieved over the last 15 months has been remarkable," Nicastro said. "The time is right for me to turn over the day-to-day management of the company."
Indeed, the 15 months beginning in early 2000 have been nothing short of fantastic. Sales of the company’s cutting-edge slot products continue to set company records, and the stock has become the darling of Wall Street.
Goldman Sachs, for instance, two weeks ago raised its price target on WMS to $35 from $24 a share because of faster than expected earnings growth. Goldman also raised its 2002 earnings estimate on WMS to $1.80 a share from $1.70, rating it a "Market Outperform."
For his part, Gamache has worked hard to position WMS for future growth by securing world-class brands and licenses on which to design gaming machines, pursuing international markets, attracting leading software development talent, relocating manufacturing, distribution, warehousing and corporate offices under one roof into a state-of the-art facility, emphasizing manufacturing efficiencies and further strengthening the company’s balance sheet through earnings growth.
Prior to his current position, Gamache served as president and chief operating officer and in various senior management capacities for WMS’ former subsidiary, WHG Resorts and Casinos, from 1990 until the subsidiary was spun off to WMS stockholders in 1997.
Under Gamache’s direction, WHG’s properties were designated world-class resorts and generated significant earnings. In its last fiscal year before being acquired, WHG’s net income tripled.
Gamache was named Hotelier of the Year in 1998 by Travel Agent magazine for his part in having attained AAA 5-Diamond status at the Las Casitas Village in Las Ceoabas, Puerto Rico.
He joined WHG in 1990 as vice president of sales and marketing, following similar positions at Marriott Hotel Corp. and Hyatt Hotels Corp.
Gamache received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Florida. He and his wife, Tamara, and their son reside in Lake Forest, Illinois.