Following the $8.9 billion takeover of Crown Resorts by US investment firm Blackstone, the CEO of the Australian casino and hotels giant Steve McCann has today announced he will step down.
McCann, who is also the CEO of Crown Melbourne, will be replaced by Wynn Macau Limited chief operating officer Ciarán Carruthers - commencing in September this year.
The outgoing CEO has only been in the top job for just over a year, and was initially appointed to fill the void left by the departure of Ken Barton following the Bergin Inquiry into Crown’s suitability to hold a casino licence.
That review ultimately determined the company was unsuitable to operate a casino at its recently completed Barangaroo tower, but in the months since the company has been granted conditional approval to open gaming operations in Sydney.
Crown says in the 13 months McCann was CEO he oversaw comprehensive cultural change, realised “significant” operational improvements, and achieved approval for Crown Sydney to commence gaming operations.
“We thank Steve for his leadership over the last 13 months, including implementing a strong reform and remediation plan and improving the culture of Crown Resorts. We wish the best for him as he pursues other opportunities,” says Blackstone head of real estate Australia, Christ Tynan.
“Blackstone is committed to investing in Crown, helping it realise its true potential as a world-class leader in travel and leisure. Part of that involves bringing in global expertise to complement the existing skills within the business.
“Ciarán Carruthers is a highly experienced and respected industry veteran who shares our commitment to continuing the transformation at Crown and delivering an exceptional experience for all visitors.”
McCann says he is “incredibly proud” of what he and his team have achieved during his tenure as CEO, which “laid the foundations for Crown’s next chapter”.
“I came into this role at a very challenging time for Crown and I will leave Crown proud that we have made a positive impact on the future of this business,” says McCann.
“I’d like to thank the hardworking board members of Crown who have provided me tremendous support, as well as every member of the team who has contributed their important part.
“Crown is an incredible place – from its properties to its product and its people. It has been an honour to be part of the team and I look forward to seeing Crown’s continued success as part of the Blackstone family and under the stewardship of Ciarán, who have my full support in their vision to help Crown realise its full potential."
The incoming CEO brings with him around 30 years’ experience in the global gaming and hospitality industries.
Most recently, Carruthers was the COO at Wynn Macau Limited, where he was responsible for overseeing all operations, including gaming.
Prior to this, he was senior vice president and director of the Venetian and Plaza Operations for Sands China.
“I have been following Crown’s journey for some time now and am excited to join the company at a significant moment in its history,” says Carruthers.
“The reform, remediation and cultural transformation that have occurred under Steve’s leadership have been extraordinary, and I would like to congratulate him and his team for what they have achieved to date. I am committed to continuing that important work to ensure Crown achieves its ambition to be a world-leader in the delivery of safe and responsible gaming.
“I am extremely passionate about our industry and providing customers with exceptional entertainment and hospitality experiences. I have stayed at Crown many times and know how dedicated and customer-focused its people are, and I’m looking forward to working closely with them, along with the governments, regulators, unions and customers as Crown enters this new era.”
Crown also made a number of other key board director appointments today, including:
- Former CEO of The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, Bill McBeath, who has been appointed chairman of the Crown Resorts board..
- Former Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti, who has been appointed chairman of the Crown Sydney board.
- Former HBF Health CEO John Van Der Wielen, who has been appointed chairman of Burswood Limited.
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