One of Las Vegas’ most iconic entrepreneurs is going a long way in a public relations firestorm.
Wynn Resorts’ board of directors announced Tuesday that 76-year-old billionaire Steve Wynn has stepped down as CEO and chairman of the company. He founded the company in the early 2000s. The new CEO is Matt Maddox, who is also the company’s president. Wynn Resorts also appointed a new chairman to the board of directors.
Violation of Penalties at Casino Company
Late last month, the Wall Street Journal reported on allegations that Wynn had been involved in serious sexual misconduct at his casino for decades. Follow-up reports suggest that lucrative gaming licenses in Macau, Las Vegas and Massachusetts are potentially under threat thanks to reports of explosions at Casino Online Terbaik. There is also speculation, fueled by falling share prices, that Wynn Resorts could be swallowed up by one or more rivals.
The regulatory review will apparently also see Wynn’s reported LLC being made to pay a $7.5 million settlement to one of its former employees stemming from the 2005 incident. Regulators in Massachusetts say Wynn hid the settlement from them during their licensing process.
Wynn’s departure from the company that bears his name at its casinos occurred during the $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor construction. There has been speculation that the project could be vacant for years if the Bay County Gaming Commission revokes the license.
In a news release, Wynn Resorts cites its creator’s track record in the gaming industry, saying he “created the modern Las Vegas.” Wynn is behind not only its flagship Wynn Las Vegas and adjacent Encore, but also the Mirage and Bellagio.
“It is with a collective heavy heart that the Wynn Resorts board of directors today accepts the resignation of our founder, CEO and friend Steve Wynn,” said non-executive board chairman Boone Wayson. “Steve Wynn is an industry giant … He played a key role in turning Las Vegas into the entertainment destination it is today.”
Wynn himself issued a statement. He has denied allegations of sexual assault.
“In the last few weeks, I’ve found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” said Wynn, who also stepped down as chairman of RNC Finance following the Journal’s report. “Because I have reflected on the environment that has been created – one in which the rush to judge takes precedence over everything else, including the facts – I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current role.”
Wynn said he was “proud” of the people employed by the casino company. He added that he “wholeheartedly supports” his successor. Maddox “and his team are well positioned to carry forward the plan and vision for the company I created,” Wynn said.
The resignation sent Wynn Resorts shares up about seven percent in early trading on Wednesday. The stock price fell about 20 percent after the Journal report.