MGM CEO Jim Murren announces departure
MGM’s head honcho calls it quits, partially blaming the coronavirus for MGM not fulfilling its goals
There will be a big change in management for MGM Resorts International as its Chairman and CEO, Jim Murren, has announced his departure before his contract ended. Murren has led a charge to revamp the company’s finances through a bold “MGM 2020” plan that appears to now be in danger of not being fulfilled. Murren attributes this, in part, to the ongoing health issues surrounding the coronavirus.
The huge casino operator announced on Wednesday that, even though Murren is leaving the company, Murren will hold on to his position until his successor is found. Currently, MGM is making efforts to find the right candidate and is going to a search firm that has a nationwide presence to identify potential candidates. Murren has been sitting on the CEO’s chair since 2008 though he has been with the company since 1998. His administration was behind the sale of the Bellagio and Circus Circus resorts in Las Vegas, two deals that were signed for nearly $5 billion each. According to Murren, this decision was made to “build a fortress balance sheet” and to be able to return capital to shareholders. It is yet to be seen if the company will follow for 2021 the same “MGM 2020” plan of cutting costs by approximately $300 million. Shares of the company were even up by 1% in aftermarket trade after the departure announcement was made.
“On behalf of the entire MGM Resorts Board of Directors, I want to thank Jim for his years of dedication to the Company and the community,” said Roland Hernandez, Lead Independent Director of the MGM Resorts Board of Directors. “Jim has led the Company through growth, transforming it into a global entertainment company with a worldwide footprint and creating value for MGM Resorts shareholders. As CEO, he has spearheaded significant achievements across our properties, including the development of the CityCenter destination and has turned resorts into showcases of entertainment and sophisticated architecture.”