Wynn Resorts Puts Elaine Wynn’s Favored Pick In Vice Chairman Role
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The calm has emerged after the July storm in the Wynn Resorts C-suite.
Reports emerged early last month Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder in Wynn Resorts and the ex-wife of its former CEO, Steve Wynn, was ramping up a fight against the company’s board of directors for rejecting her preferred candidate for leadership. The board has changed course and chosen her preference, former Harrah’s CEO Phil Satre, to eventually become chairman of Wynn Resorts, Bloomberg reports.
While Satre will begin in the vice chairman position, he is poised to ascend to the chairman position in later 2018 after current Wynn Resorts Chairman D. Boone Wayson retires.
“The addition of someone of Phil’s caliber and experience is a significant step forward for Wynn Resorts as we turn the page on the last six months,” Wayson said in a prepared statement.
The board shake-up comes while the company is still trying to come out from the shadow cast by sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn. While he was ousted, and Wynn Resorts President Matt Maddox took over as CEO, the company is still under investigation by Massachusetts gaming regulators. A decision, which could include stripping the company of its license to operate the $2.5B casino it is currently building in the state, is expected by the end of the summer.
The addition of Satre is a quick change from just a few weeks ago when it was reported new Wynn Resorts board member Betsy Atkins blocked his nomination while vying for the chairmanship for herself. Elaine Wynn holds roughly $1.5B in company stock, a 9% overall stake, and had agreed to support the board as long as her candidate was voted in.
Despite her earlier claims to fight the board, Elaine Wynn won’t increase her stake in the company or side with groups looking to take over the company until 2020, per the agreement that added Satre to the board. She will also be reimbursed for as much as $5M spent on launching the fight and in negotiation on the final agreement.
“I have long respected Phil as a leader in the gaming industry and am confident that his addition to the Company’s leadership team, coupled with the plans laid out by Management, will bring the Company tremendous success in the years to come,” Elaine Wynn said in a prepared statement. “Phil’s role as vice chair, and as chairman in the future, will be key to furthering the Wynn Resorts brand as one of the premier destination resort operators in the world.”