Bally Technologies bringing back previous CEO

Richard Haddrill, CEO of Bally Technologies, poses by a Michael Jackson-themed slot machine Monday, March 5, 2012.

In an abrupt reversal, Bally Technologies CEO Ramesh Srinivasan is being replaced at the helm by the man he replaced less than a year and a half ago — the same one who recruited Srinivasan to the company, no less.

The Las Vegas slot-machine maker said today that Srinivasan, a nine-year company veteran, is leaving Bally and that Dick Haddrill would assume the CEO’s spot May 23.

Haddrill was Bally’s chief executive from 2004 to 2012 and has been chairman of the board since Srinivasan was promoted to CEO. Haddrill will give up the chairman’s seat next week to former Chairman David Robbins.

In a phone interview, Haddrill said the company is “performing well” but is doing a “strategic review” in the wake of last year’s $1.4 billion purchase of local casino supplier Shfl Entertainment.

As a result, the board decided to bump Srinivasan from the CEO’s seat, Haddrill said. He would not elaborate in detail, saying the company has “different needs” at different times, and that what the board wants in a chief executive today is different than when Srinivasan took charge.

Haddrill also said he spoke with Srinivasan about taking another job within the company, but Srinivasan chose to leave.

“At this point, he’s decided to move on,” Haddrill said.

Company spokesman Mike Trask said Srinivasan would “likely be unavailable” to comment.

In a prepared statement, board chairman Robbins thanked Srinivasan for guiding the company through the Shfl buyout and cited Srinivasan’s “exemplary execution” in developing Bally’s casino-management systems business.

About Haddrill, he said, “Dick’s depth of knowledge about our company and our industry is unparalleled. As a result of his many years of being Bally’s CEO, a director and chairman of the board, as well as CEO of two other successful public companies, we believe that he is uniquely qualified to lead Bally through its next era of growth.”

Bally has had a drop in earnings since last summer, and its stock, while still higher than when Srinivasan became CEO, plunged in recent months.

The company earned $87 million in profit for the nine months ending March 31, down 15 percent from the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, Bally shares soared from $45.36 apiece at the start of 2013 to $82.67 a year or so later, but as of today, the stock was worth $59.45.

Haddrill attributed the earnings dip to buyout-related costs and said the stock drop is industry related.

Srinivasan was an executive with software firm Manhattan Associates before joining Bally in 2005 as an executive vice president overseeing Bally’s casino-management systems business.

Haddrill was CEO of Manhattan Associates before joining Bally, and he said today that he recruited Srinivasan to the casino supplier.

At Bally, Srinivasan was promoted to president and chief operating officer in 2011 and, keeping his president’s title, replaced Haddrill as CEO in December 2012.

The company’s website says Srinivasan led its systems division to record revenue and customer-satisfaction levels, and that during his tenure with Bally, its stock-market value quadrupled.