Crown Resorts cultural turnaround exec Jeannie Mok to lead The Star's remediation efforts as COO

Crown Resorts cultural turnaround exec Jeannie Mok to lead The Star's remediation efforts as COO

The Star's incoming COO Jeannie Mok.

The leadership vacuum caused by an exodus of senior executives at The Star Entertainment Group (ASX: SGR) is starting to be filled, with the embattled casino operator appointing Crown Resorts' cultural turnaround specialist Jeannie Mok as its new chief operations officer (COO).

Mok has been chief transformation officer at Crown Resorts since mid-2022 and its chief of staff before that, following a stint of more than a decade in senior roles at property group Lendlease (ASX: LLC).

Crown Resorts was the first major Australian casino group to have its misdeeds put under the microscope of inquiries investigating practices that allowed for money laundering and junket operations, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties, a corporate overhaul, and an eventual $8.9 billion sale to Blackstone in June 2022.

It has very much been a case of rinse and repeat with The Star, although it hasn't changed hands yet and it may not. The group is still far from being out of the woods in the wake of a second Bell Inquiry in NSW, whose special counsel Caspar Conde claimed the group was still unsuitable to hold a casino licence in closing statements.

The Star is still awaiting the final report based on the inquiry, in which it was revealed that former chairman David Foster and former CEO Robbie Cooke had adopted a warlike mentality towards the state-mandated special manager Nicholas Weeks and the NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) that appointed him.

Cooke resigned prior to the second Bell Inquiry, while Foster stepped down in April, following in the footsteps of The Star Gold Coast CEO Jessica Mellor who left after just six months in the position after working her way up through the ranks from being the youngest-ever female general manager at the Glitter Strip operation.

Other high-profile exits include former CFO Christina Katsibouba, former chief customer and product officer George Hughes and former chief legal officer Betty Ivanoff. 

With the exception of Hughes, all these former execs had been in their respective roles since after the initial Bell inquiry began in November 2021, although Katsibouba was at the company for almost a decade in total. In her interviews at the inquiry, she said The Star's leadership was "dysfunctional and to have been dysfunctional for some time”.

If casino regulatory approvals are obtained, Mok will start in the new role on 11 June and faces the challenging task of leading remediation efforts at a company, which in Queensland alone has a 640-point remediation plan to address past governance failings. 

Authorities in the Sunshine State are awaiting findings from the Bell Inquiry, and in December will make a decision on the company's suitability to hold a casino licence. This will be just months after the staged opening of the $3.6 billion Queen's Wharf Brisbane (QWB) in August, in which Star is a 50 per cent owner and plans to open its new casino in the state's capital.

The Star highlights Mok's role in designing and launching Crown Resorts’ transformation strategy and overseeing the delivery of its culture, governance, technology and operations remediation programs.

“I am delighted to welcome Jeannie to the team as group chief operating officer. We are at a pivotal point in our company’s history and Jeannie’s appointment strengthens our leadership team as we focus on implementing the necessary reforms at The Star," says the group's chairman Anne Ward, who was appointed to replace Foster in April.

"Jeannie’s strong leadership skills and highly relevant experience within the industry will be significant assets to our ongoing program of change.

"We are focused on driving sustainable improvements at The Star and fostering a culture of positive transformation at all levels of the organisation. We look forward to working with Jeannie across all operational aspects of this transformation."

Enjoyed this article?

Don't miss out on the knowledge and insights to be gained from our daily news and features.

Subscribe today to unlock unlimited access to in-depth business coverage, expert analysis, and exclusive content across all devices.

Support independent journalism and stay informed with stories that matter to you.

Subscribe now and get 50% off your first year!

Four time-saving tips for automating your investment portfolio
Partner Content
In today's fast-paced investment landscape, time is a valuable commodity. Fortunately, w...
Etoro
Advertisement

Related Stories

Ocean Guardian administrator in talks with "several parties" to secure its future

Ocean Guardian administrator in talks with "several parties" to secure its future

After two withdrawn initial public offering (IPO) attempts in 2018 ...

Westpac breached Banking Code of Practice in NT branch closure, putting vulnerable customers at risk

Westpac breached Banking Code of Practice in NT branch closure, putting vulnerable customers at risk

The independent body tasked with keeping bank behaviour in check ha...

Cyber security consultancy CSO Group to merge with AI enabler xAmplify

Cyber security consultancy CSO Group to merge with AI enabler xAmplify

Sydney-based cyber security consultancy CSO Group is set to join fo...

Julian Assange will be freed after striking plea deal with US authorities

Julian Assange will be freed after striking plea deal with US authorities

Julian Assange has reached a deal with the United States Department...