American casino operator MGM Resorts International has announced that its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, James Murren (pictured), is to step down before the expiration of his current contract.
The Las Vegas-headquartered firm used an official Wednesday press release to detail that Murren joined its ranks in 1998 as Chief Financial Officer and has served as its boss since 2008. The New York-listed operator moreover explained that the 58-year-old’s existing leadership deal was set to expire at the end of next year while he has now agreed to remain in post until a suitable heir can be named.
To that end and MGM Resorts International declared that it has consequently established ‘a committee of independent directors’ that is due to cooperate with ‘a nationally-recognized executive search firm’ so as to quickly identify and evaluate potential candidates to replace Murren.
Roland Hernandez, Lead Independent Director for MGM Resorts International, used the press release to proclaim that Murren has led efforts that have transformed the casino firm ‘into a global entertainment company with a worldwide footprint’ while simultaneously ‘creating value’ for stakeholders. He stated that the Connecticut native additionally ‘spearheaded significant achievements across our properties’ including the development of the CityCenter Las Vegas mixed-used urban complex and the transformation of its ‘resorts into showcases of entertainment and sophisticated architecture’.
Read a statement from Hernandez…
“On behalf of the entire MGM Resorts International’s board of directors, I want to thank James for his years of dedication to the company and the community. We are focused on continuing to create long-term value for shareholders. The search committee along with the entire board will be dedicating significant attention and resources towards identifying and naming a successor. James will continue to lead the company during this process. We will also look to the talented management team in place to help guide the company into this next chapter.”
For his part and Murren described running MGM Resorts International as ‘the most rewarding and fulfilling experience in my professional career’ because he enjoyed leading ‘a talented group of men and women’ that provided millions of people ‘with memorable life experiences every day all over the world.’
Murren’s statement read…
“We have a solid leadership team in place and I am confident that they will work with my successor to continue the company’s trajectory of growth and expansion. Until my successor is named, I will continue to lead this company just as I always have and will remain focused on executing our strategy and am fully committed to supporting a seamless transition.”
Looking further into the future and Inside Asian Gaming reported that Murren subsequently hinted that he may look to take charge of MGM Resorts International’s future efforts at securing one of the three licenses to build and operate an integrated casino resort in Japan. The Nevada firm is purportedly keen on partnering with local financial services firm Orix Corporation so as to bring a Las Vegas-style gambling development to the city of Osaka but is said to be facing competition from Asian rivals Genting Malaysia Berhad and Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited.
The departing boss reportedly used a conference call with investors earlier today to state that he intends to join with his firm’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Bill Hornbuckle, ‘very likely in May’ so as to ‘speak to the people of Osaka’ and inform them as to the advantages of selecting MGM Resorts International and Orix Corporation as their ‘preferred partner.’
Murren reportedly told shareholders…
“I’m absolutely sure I’m going to be involved in the Japan project. In fact, I’ll probably be even more involved in the Japan project as time goes by.”