Rafi Ashkenazi has been named chief executive officer of the Rational Group, Amaya Inc.’s online gaming division which includes the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands, the company announced today.

Ashkenazi is an experienced gaming industry executive and joined the Rational Group in January 2013 as Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all customer-facing product and back-office functions for PokerStars and Full Tilt including marketing, customer support, poker room management, IT management, payment processing & security, and game integrity.

Earlier this year Ashkenazi became Senior Vice President of Strategy for Amaya Inc., reporting to Amaya CEO David Baazov.

Prior to joining the Rational Group, Ashkenazi was Chief Operating Officer of Playtech, a global gaming software company.

“Rafi has been working very closely this year with our executive management team and returns to Rational Group with an even greater knowledge of our corporate strategy, vision and goals,” said Baazov. “Combining this knowledge with his operational expertise makes him an ideal leader for the Rational Group.”

“I look forward to re-joining the excellent team at Rational Group and working with them to continue to extend our leadership in online gaming,” Ashkenazi said. “We have great opportunities in the near future with our upcoming launch in New Jersey, the expansion of our casino and sports-betting businesses and our mission to grow the poker category.”

Ashkenazi assumes his role on November 9 and interim CEO Michael Hazel will assist during a brief transition period before departing the company. Rational Group Chief Operating Officer Israel Rosenthal and Director of Business Development and Strategy Guy Templer will continue in their roles and report to Ashkenazi. All three executives are based in the Isle of Man.