Marie Stevens, the high-flying group legal affairs director of Ladbrokes, has been replaced by Steven Glick from electronics company Graseby.
It is understood that Stevens resigned because she did not want to move from central London to new offices in Watford.
Glick's appointment comes as Ladbroke moves into the US hotel market, following a deal with Hilton, and as it prepares to operate gambling activities in the US state of Nevada.
"I think they were interested in someone with extensive merger and acquisition experience in the US," said Glick. "At the same time, I they wanted someone based in the UK and familiar with a plc environment."
A graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law and the London School of Economics, Glick worked in the New York, Paris and London offices of US firm Shearman & Sterling.
In 1992, he joined electronic instruments company Graseby as group legal adviser and company secretary. He will join Ladbroke on 3 March, just two days after leaving his present job.