Back to Insights


xDesign primed for growth in 2023 with appointment of new COO

Digital development partner xDesign has today announced the appointment of Rik Barker as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO). Barker’s appointment is the latest in a series of strategic hires by the company in the last three months as it aims to build on record growth in 2023.

The former Flutter Entertainment CIO for UK & Ireland will be responsible for the overall operations of the business whilst supporting it to scale and meet ambitious growth plans. From 40 employees in November 2020 to 400 employees currently; the company plans to grow its workforce to 550 people and reach a revenue run rate in excess of £50 million by mid-2023.

Euan Andrews, Founder and CEO of xDesign, said:

“Rik brings with him a wealth of experience having been a key player in the success of global brands such as Sky Betting & Gaming, and more recently, via his role in the wider Flutter Entertainment Group. In Rik, we recognised an individual that shares our vision for how digital should be done, and who has the depth and breadth of experience to innovate and scale vital operational, resourcing and delivery capabilities here at xDesign. 

“We’ve certainly set ourselves ambitious growth plans for 2023, however, we recognise that growth shouldn’t come at a cost to our people, culture and the high standards of quality and delivery we provide for our clients. To this end, Rik is a key strategic appointment for the company and will help us realise our true potential and longer-term vision for 2025.”    

Although responsible for operations across all of xDesigns existing and future offices, Rik will be based out of the company’s recently launched Leeds office along with other members of its senior team, including; Matt Ward (Head of Leeds), Jeff Watkins (Chief Product and Technology Officer), Malcolm Seagrave (Chief Growth Officer) and Neil Lockwood (Chief Client Officer). He’ll also oversee operations across all of the company’s existing and future offices.  

Talking about his appointment, Rik said:

“I’m really bought into the vision and culture of xDesign, and am hugely impressed by what Euan and the leadership team have created. What’s more, the company’s momentum in the last few years has been really impressive, to say the least. Both of these factors - along with the huge ambition that exists at all levels of the company - have made it really easy for me to decide to join. I look forward to seeing how my experience can play a part in accelerating xDesign’s growth trajectory even further.

“My new role will see me evolve xDesign for its next phase of growth. With ambitious growth targets in place for the year, it’s important that we really accelerate, scale and expand those things that make the company a truly unique proposition in the market - the things that make our people and clients tick. Fundamentally, I’ll be looking at how we can make our business work better, and be better to work for.”