FEW Australian CEOs would have leaped out of a moving car to escape gun-toting carjackers.
Not many would have played as running back in a college football team alongside players who later became NFL stars.
And how many link the success of their business to the roll of a dice? Meet Larry Mullin, the American-born boss of Brisbane-based casino giant Echo Entertainment.
The 50-year-old was lured to Australia from the United States east-coast casino hub of Atlantic City to head the entity that demerged from Tabcorp last year.
Echo Entertainment is now Queensland’s fifth-largest listed company, with a market capitalisation of $3.1 billion and revenues of nearly $1.8 billion. It employs more than 7000 staff.
Mullin is a laid-back sports-loving family man who has easily transitioned to an Australian lifestyle.
He grew up on the hard streets of Philadelphia, where life experiences had at a young age more than prepared him for anything he would encounter in the world of casinos.
He had the speed and strength to be a football star, but the economic reality of life meant he had to get a job as soon as he left college.
He started his working life at a funeral home and mortuary then took a gamble on a career in the casino industry, starting at the bottom as a hotel porter.
The young Mullin looked and learned. And his rise through the ranks of the gaming industry rivals any match-clinching football play.
Mullin has successfully managed some of the most lucrative gaming properties in the US and has become a personal friend to a string of superstars and celebrities, including Jon Bon Jovi and Jennifer Lopez.
He’s a high-achiever with a highly focussed business mind – the perfect combination to steer a billion-dollar makeover of a company that owns four of the most lucrative gaming properties in Australia.
A business plan that aims to change the perception of our casinos will deliver a total entertainment experience for locals and visitors. Read the entire cover story by getting your copy of Brisbane Business News - out now at a newsagent near you.
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