Crown CEO Ken Barton steps down

Crown CEO Ken Barton steps down

Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) CEO Ken Barton (pictured) has stepped down from his role with immediate effect following last week's scathing Bergin report.

Barton's resignation is the latest in a string of director departures, following the resignations of former AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou as director and two Packer-linked executives, Michael Johnston and Guy Jalland.

It comes in the wake of last week's handing down of the Bergin report that found Crown was "quite unsuitable" to hold a casino licence in NSW.

In addition to his resignation, CWN has announced Helen Coonan will assume the role of executive chairman on an interim basis while the board oversees a search for a new CEO.

"I would like to thank Ken for his dedication and commitment to Crown," Coonan said.

"Ken joined Crown more than a decade ago and has played an invaluable role with the business, initially as CFO and in the past year as CEO.

"Ken has always put the interests of Crown first."

Barton will continue to assist Coonan in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth handover.

"I would like to thank the Crown Directors for the opportunity to work with them on implementing Crown's strategy," Barton said.

"Over the past 10 years, Crown has established itself as a great Australian company with world-class assets and I am absolutely certain the business is now on the right path as it works to restore confidence in its operations.

"I am committed to assisting with the transition to new leadership."

Coonan said the board has agreed her interim appointment to the role of executive chairman will give the company some stability as it grapples with the fallout from the Bergin report.

"Assuming the role of executive chairman is a decision I have not taken lightly but the board feels it provides leadership stability and certainty at this important time for the business," Coonan said.

"The board is determined to maintain the momentum as Crown takes significant steps to improve our governance, compliance and culture.

"Working closely with the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and regulators in Victoria and Western Australia, I will continue to lead on implementation of Crown's ambitious reform program."

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