Crown Resorts Casino Shuffles Board Members
Australia’s biggest casino, Crown Resorts, has just undergone a major re-shuffle and re-structuring of their corporate hierarchy. One of the biggest casino brands in the country has retired their chairman, Mr. John Alexander, who will now be stepping down and occupying a role as an executive director. This vacancy paves the way for a former senator in the Australian parliament, Helen Coonan, to become the new chairman of Crown Resorts, this will be on a non-executive basis. Besides these two monumental changes, were a range of additional shake-ups in the corporate structure of Crown Resorts, which we will unpack in detail down below.
The new chairman, Helen Coonan, will not hold any executive power – and will be occupying the role for her expertise, consulting ability and operational effectiveness. Whilst the outgoing Chairman will be proud of his achievements in the past two years in the post, it was a tumultuous time for the company.
During the chairmanship of John Alexander, Crown Resorts was rocked by serious allegations of money laundering. According to Chinese authorities, several known criminals were able to gamble millions inside a Melbourne Crown Resorts casino. This controversy, amongst several other questionable company actions, is widely earmarked as the reason for the change in personnel in the corporate hierarchy of Crown Resorts.
Ken Barton Becomes Group Chief Executive
The ex group chief financial officer, who has a wealth of experience at Crown Resorts, has been charged with the responsibility of the group chief executive. Barton brings a new approach at the top of the company, and will be seeking to exercise some of the financial prudence that he has successfully implemented in his previous role. According to the filing with the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, this new post appears to have been created specifically for Barton.
The appointment of Ken Barton in a transition period will certainly aid in maintaining stability. Whilst the company has at times in the previous two years been rocked by allegations of fraud, money laundering and several lawsuits in China. The Singaporean authorities also accused Crown Resorts of recruiting Chinese VIP players, several of which were known criminals and arrested in China after the incident. Amidst these very recent controversies, Barton will be aiming to lead a transition into calmer waters for the firm.
Much of the details regarding this latest shake-up at Crown Resorts were made public at the end of last week. In the report, the departing chairman gave his opinion on the appointment of Ken Barton in such a pivotal role for the company.
Ken Barton’s long-standing role with the company and his experience as Crown’s chief financial officer will provide continuity through this transition.John Alexander Ex Chairman, Crown Resorts
Previously there was no role for a chief executive of the group, and the role didn’t exist. John Alexander was effectively absorbing the role into his chairmanship, and now with his departure, and a replacement who does not hold executive power, a need for the position has opened up. As a lifelong servant of the company, there is perhaps nobody better positioned to take on this new responsibility than Ken Barton.
Appeasing the regulators will be at the forefront of the new leadership at Crown Resorts. Previous boards have damaged relationships with local authorities and acted with arrogance and belligerence. Barton offers a level headed and progressive thought leadership approach that will be greatly appreciated by all stakeholders of the company.
Barton will be facing a series of tests in his new role, with large portions of the Crown Resort ownership changing hands in the previous two years, James Packer ceasing to be a director, and the company opening a new location in Sydney; the next 12 months will be crucial to the longevity and sustainability of Crown Resorts.