Jim Murren, the longtime CEO of MGM Resorts International, (a US-based hospitality and entertainment company) is reportedly stepping down from his post as CEO after serving 22 years (since 1998) with the casino, and even before the expiration of the contract period. However, the reasons for his sudden decision to quit the company has not been confirmed either by MGM Resorts International or by himself. However, he assured to remain appointed until the casino operator finds any suitable successor to replace him. In surge for finding his replacement, a committee of directors has been formed on behalf of the resort to work with a “nationally recognized executive search firm” to evaluate candidates who can be a perfect replacement for Murren.
The hospitality industry is recently going through major ups and downs in the past couple of days when the casino industry is trying hard to recover the after-effects of the lethal coronavirus break in China. Casinos in Macau have been closed down for 2 weeks to stop the spread of the virus outbreak. Amidst all these, the announcement of leadership change of MGM Resorts International has left the operator with a lot of uncertainties and discomfort.
MGM Resorts International, under the leadership of Jim Murren, worked hard to please its shareholders. The casino operator said it would sell its resorts at Bellagio and Circus in Las Vegas in separate deals which were valued at about $5 billion. It also promised to use the proceeds from the deals to “build a fortress balance sheet” and return the capital proceeds to the cranky shareholders.
In fact, MGM made an announcement last year that it is planning to cut costs thereby boosting growth, and increasing the annual adjusted earnings before tax, interest, and depreciation by around $300 million by the end of 2021. At that time, the shares of the company rose by 1% in aftermarket trade.
Murren also guided MGM through the unfamiliar world of online gambling via the Roar Digital joint venture. Therefore, Murren’s sudden exit decision left the company with a great loss.