MGM Names Casino Veteran Bill Hornbuckle as Its Acting CEO

Sunday 22nd March 2020

Move comes while U.S. casinos are closed because of virus Board member Paul Salem is put in place as the chairman

MGM Resorts International named Bill Hornbuckle as its acting chief executive officer effective immediately, tapping the casino giant's top lieutenant to take the reins during a time of crisis.

The move accelerates the succession for longtime CEO Jim Murren, who had said in February he would step down when a replacement was found. The company decided to speed up the process in light of the impact of the coronavirus on the industry.

The company also elevated board member Paul Salem to the chairman role. He's senior managing director emeritus of private equity firm Providence Equity Partners and already chairs MGM's real estate committee.

"We believe continued steady, skilled leadership is needed in this time of great upheaval and uncertainty," Salem said in a statement.

MGM, the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip, has closed all its U.S. casinos to help prevent the spread of the virus, which has infected casino workers and guests. Last week, Murren attended a White House meeting of travel-industry leaders asking President Donald Trump for aid for their businesses and employees, many of whom find themselves out of work.

Hornbuckle, 62, is a four-decade veteran of the casino business and one-time protege of Steve Wynn. He opened the Mirage resort in Las Vegas for Wynn in 1989.

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