Former CEO Of Harrah's To Become Wynn's Board Chairman
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Wynn Resorts announced additional changes to its board of directors Monday, a truce with its top shareholder and the end to an internal investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against the company's founder that surfaced earlier this year.
The appointment of industry veteran Phil Satre as vice chairman is the latest change to a board that has seen resignations and appointments since March. The move is among the many steps the casino operator's leadership has taken to show it is committed to move the company onto a new chapter.
Satre, who was the longtime chairman and CEO of Harrah's Entertainment, will become the board's chairman when D. Boone Wayson steps down from that role by Dec. 31. The arrangement is part of an agreement between the company and Elaine Wynn, who became the largest shareholder after her ex-husband, Steve Wynn, sold his shares following his resignation as chairman and CEO amid sexual misconduct allegations that he has denied.
"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 statement. He said the appointment is the result of a collaborative effort with Elaine Wynn, "which I believe will serve as the beginning of a constructive and unified effort by all parties to move the Company forward."
Most recently, Satre was chairman of the board of IGT, which manufactures slot machines and other casino equipment.
The Wall Street Journal in January reported that several women said he harassed or assaulted them and that one case led to a $7.5 million settlement.
Wynn has filed a defamation lawsuit against The Associated Press for its reporting on a separate allegation made to police.
The company in a securities filing on Monday said an internal committee has finished its investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations. Its board of directors on Friday received the final presentation from the committee but will not release any results publicly until gambling regulators finish their investigations.
The company said the findings will be shared with gambling regulators. Regulatory entities in Nevada and Massachusetts are looking into the allegations.
Committee chairwoman Pat Mulroy in May told investors the committee had interviewed more than 100 people and reviewed 3 million documents.
The agreement with Elaine Wynn limits the amount of pressure she can put on the company until 2020 or when Satre departs as chairman, whichever comes first. It limits her from nominating directors to the board and sets a cap on her stake in the company at 9.9 percent, among other restrictions.
Meanwhile, the company has agreed to reimburse her up to $5 million in out-of-pocket expenses from a proxy battle earlier this year.
She said in a statement released by the company that she has long respected Satre's leadership in the industry and was confident that the changes made by management would bring "tremendous success in the years to come."
– by Regina Garcia Cano, AP reporter