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Crown Resorts names Steve McCann as new CEO

10th May 2021 10:33 am GMT

Sydney-listed casino operator Crown Resorts has appointed Steve McCann as its new chief executive and managing director, as the company weighs up several offers to acquire the business.

McCann is an experienced global executive with an acute understanding of the Australian corporate and regulatory environment after a 25-year executive career. He is currently group CEO of real estate and investment group Lendlease Corporation, a role he has held for more than a decade.

Before joining Lendlease in 2005, McCann worked in senior leadership roles at ABN AMRO and Bankers Trust.

Last year McCann delayed his planned retirement from Lendlease to lead the group’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and will retire from the board on 31 May.

McCann will join Crown effective 1 June and will assume the role of CEO and managing director upon receipt of all probity and regulatory approvals. He will replace Helen Coonan, who took over as executive chairman following the departure of Ken Barton in February after NSW's Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority concluded that Crown was unsuitable to hold a licence for a new Sydney casino.

“Steve is a first-class appointment for Crown and the right person to embed the ongoing reforms necessary to restore regulatory and public confidence in our operations,” said Coonan. “Recognised as one of Australia’s most respected business leaders, Steve has a unique blend of strategic, financial and corporate governance expertise and a track record of building strong employee engagement and driving cultural change.

“During a comprehensive recruitment process, Steve was the clear choice from a quality field of prospective candidates. The board was looking for a CEO firmly committed to building on the momentum for change within our business and Steve is ideally placed to hit the ground running as our sweeping reform program takes hold.”

To ensure a seamless transition, Coonan will continue to perform her executive responsibilities as interim executive chairman until McCann has received necessary approvals to perform in his role.

Commenting on his appointment, McCann said: “I am looking forward to joining Crown at a crucial time for the organisation and see a real opportunity to help drive significant shareholder value as the company addresses its challenges and emerges from the constraints of the pandemic.”

Shares in Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX:CWN) closed up 7.26 per cent at AUD$13.00 per share in Sydney Monday after the company confirmed new bids to acquire the business from Star Entertainment Group and Blackstone Group.

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