Jim Ryan has been picked as Mitch Garber's replacement at PartyGaming chief executive.

Ryan was previously the chief executive at St. Minver.

Mr Ryan, 46, looks an ideal replacement for Mitch Garber, his fellow Canadian, having spent more than 20 years working in the technology and gaming arena. Before joining St Minver, he floated Excapsa Software, an interactive gaming software company, on AIM, and is a former chief financial officer of CryptoLogic, another quoted internet gaming software company.

But the married father of three will have to make do with a rather less remunerative package than either of his two predecessors as chief executive of PartyGaming. Both were lured by the prospect of Croesus-like rewards, whereas Mr Ryan will have to manage with a £500,000 salary and 15 million free shares, worth almost £4 million at last night’s closing price of 26¼p.

That may sound like a tidy enough sum, and a rise in the share price would make it look even tidier, but unlike his predecessors he will have to wait to reap the full benefit. The shares will be distributed over five years, with 63 per cent being awarded in his third, fourth and fifth years. This is clearly an attempt by PartyGaming to hang on to Mr Ryan for longer than the two-year stints completed by Mr Garber and Richard Segal, who floated the company in 2005.