Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

Steve Wynn Steps Down as CEO of Wynn Resorts Amid Misconduct Allegations

Steve Wynn Steps Down as CEO of Wynn Resorts Amid Misconduct Allegations

The bombshell announcement came after reports emerged at the end of January that Wynn was accused by dozens of past and present employees to have allegedly conducted a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct, which involved Wynn routinely pressuring employees to perform sex acts, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Macau casino operator said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that Matthew Maddox, now a non-executive director, would take over as CEO with immediate effect.

The company said it was appointing Mr Matt Maddox, its president since 2013, as chief executive, effective immediately. Wynn has also created other famous Las Vegas resorts such as The Mirage and The Bellagio.

He also served as the finance chairman on the Republican National Committee but stepped down in January following the allegations. Wynn is in the process of building a casino close to Boston.

The lawsuit said the board breached its fiduciary duty to investors by not investigating the accusations and by continuing to recommend Wynn's leadership to investors.

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Allan Zeman, a Hong Kong-based businessman and an independent director of Wynn Macau, was appointed as its non-executive chairman.

'The Wynn Resorts team and I have built houses of brick.

"It is with a collective heavy heart, that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts today accepted the resignation of our founder, CEO and friend Steve Wynn", Wayson said in the statement.

Wynn took Wynn Resorts Limited public in 2002, becoming a billionaire in 2004 when his net worth doubled to $1.3bn, although he had been in the Las Vegas casino business since the late 60's and has been responsible for numerous innovations and ideas which have turned the Las Vegas Strip into the gambling and entertainment mecca it is today. Mr Maddox, who has been with Wynn Resorts since it was founded in 2002, is seen as a firm hand and is widely viewed as a favoured protege of Mr Wynn.

Non-executive director of the board Boone Wayson issued a statement Tuesday announcing Wynn's resignation, NBC News reported.

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"As I have reflected upon the environment this has created - one in which a rush to judgement takes precedence over everything else, including the facts - I have reached the conclusion I can not continue to be effective in my current roles", he said.

In a statement Tuesday night, Wynn Resorts said the company "will continue to fully focus" on its casino operations in Las Vegas and Macau, "as well as the construction of Wynn Boston Harbor, which will open in June 2019".

According to reports, Wynn and his ex-wife still hold about 21 per cent of Wynn Resorts - despite his resignation.

The Wynn Palace casino resort in Macau.

Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby, participating from a family vacation, said through a remote connection that a "central question" for investigators will be what did the Wynn board of directors know about the allegations against Wynn, and when did they know it.

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Wynn has called the allegations "preposterous" and has said that they are schemes by his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn.

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