Barton remains CEO of Crown, for now, as Demetriou resigns

Barton remains CEO of Crown, for now, as Demetriou resigns

The rapid pace of resignations from the Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) board has yet to claim the scalp of the CEO Ken Barton, according to the company.

Crown this morning denied speculation Barton had resigned from his position, but confirmed that former AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou (pictured) had quit as director.

The company was responding to a report published by The Australian last night claiming Barton and Demetriou had resigned in response to this week's handing down of the Bergin report that found Crown "quite unsuitable" to hold a casino licence in NSW.

"Crown and Mr Barton are continuing to consider his position having regard to the recommendations and findings of the commissioner's report of the inquiry under section 143 of the Casino Control Act 1992," says Crown in a statement to the ASX today.

The Australian today stands by its claims that Barton handed his resignation to Crown chair Helen Coonan.

Both Barton and Demetriou are under pressure to exit the company as gaming authorities in Victoria and NSW question their positions in the company.

The Bergin Inquiry commissioned by the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) noted that based on findings, the ILGA would be "justified in entertaining very serious doubts" about granting Crown a licence if Johnston - or non-executive director Andrew Demetriou and CEO Kenneth Barton - remained as directors.

The inquiry initially led to the resignations of two Packer-linked executives, Michael Johnston and Guy Jalland, from the Crown board the day after the Bergin report was handed down.

Both had served as directors of James Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH) while on the Crown board.

Crown also revealed this week that non-executive director John Poynton would no longer be a board nominee of CPH because a consultancy arrangement he had with the Packer-owned business had terminated.

The influence of Packer, the largest shareholder of Crown and a former chairman, was cited by the Bergin report as having "rather disastrous consequences for the company". This is despite quitting the board in 2018.

Crown shares fell further this morning on the ASX, slipping to a low of $9.88.

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