Having played a central role in the industry’s recent spate of mergers and acquisitions, Scientific Games’ decision to replace Gavin Isaacs as chief executive highlights the company’s progress into a new era where reducing debt is now the key focus. Newly appointed CEO Kevin Sheehan explains how his experience of the cruise line industry will help him to achieve this goal.

When Kevin Sheehan was announced as Scientific Games chief executive in early August, one industry executive noted that it stands to reason he comes from a different industry. After all, they said, who in the gaming sector would be willing to replace Gavin Isaacs?

SG’s M&A activity may have been sparked by the vision of chairman Ron Perelman, but it was Isaacs reputation which rested on integrating a number of sizeable organisations so that they function as whole. Few would argue that he has not succeeded.

The Scientific Games of today, made up of SciGames, WMS Industries, SHFL and Bally, is a major force in the industry and delivering strong growth. Yet Isaacs has previously admitted his frustration of analysts’ warnings of how the corporation’s debt burden could slow this growth. Enter Sheehan as Isaacs’ replacement.

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