New York-listed casino operator Caesars Entertainment has named Affinity Gaming’s Anthony Rodio as its next chief executive.
Rodio will transition to Caesars during the next thirty days and join the company's board of directors.
Caesars has been searching for a chief executive since Mark Frissora announced last November that he would leave the company in February.
Rodio has nearly four decades of experience in the gaming industry and has served as CEO of Las Vegas-based casino operator Affinity Gaming since October.
Prior to that he served as president, CEO and board member of Tropicana Entertainment, leading major capital projects including the complete renovation of Tropicana Atlantic City and Tropicana's move to land-based operations in Evansville, Indiana. He has also held a number of roles at Hollywood Casino and Harrah's Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment).
The appointment comes days before Caesars would have been due to give Icahn Group the right to appoint a fourth board member, which would have been triggered if a suitable CEO was not appointed before Friday.
“Tony brings to Caesars a track record of operational excellence, proven leadership and deep industry knowledge and expertise,” said Caesars Entertainment chairman James Hunt. “Tony is a respected and highly accomplished executive who has successfully built and grown businesses in our industry throughout his career.
“We are confident that Tony has the vision and depth of operating experience to lead our talented senior management team as Caesars continues its long history of delighting our guests, fostering a welcoming and rewarding workplace for our team members and creating value for shareholders and other stakeholders. Our entire board looks forward to his leadership in evaluating and executing the company's go-forward plans."
Following his appointment, Rodio commented: "I have long admired Caesars and am optimistic about the company's future prospects. Our industry is going through a time of transition and opportunity and I look forward to leading Caesars' exceptional team through the company's next phase of growth, innovation and value creation."
Caesars’ board has also announced the creation of a Transaction Committee to oversee the company's evaluation of ongoing efforts to create additional shareholder value.
Composed of independent directors, the committee will consider and evaluate various options, including continuing to operate as an independent public company.
The decision to form the committee follows inquiries from industry participants concerning possible transactions with Caesars. The committee members include Thomas Benninger, Keith Cozza, Don Kornstein and Courtney Mather.
“There can be no assurance that the exploration with other industry participants will result in any transaction or other result,” Caesars cautioned. “The committee has not set a timetable for completion of its review, and it does not intend to comment further regarding these matters unless a specific transaction or other alternative is approved by the board of directors or it is otherwise determined that further disclosure is appropriate or required by law.”
Shares in Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NSQ:CZR) closed at $9.38 per share in New York Monday.