Chief executive at MGM Resorts says he’ll step down

Business
James Murren

FILE – In this Oct, 29, 2018 file photo James Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, participates in a news conference in New York. Murren the head of casino giant MGM Resorts International says he’ll step down as company chairman and chief executive as soon as the company leaders find his successor. Murren was praised in a company statement Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, saying he informed the corporate board he intends to leave before his contract expires, at the end of 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig,File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jim Murren, the head of casino giant MGM Resorts International, says he’ll step down as chairman and chief executive as soon as the company finds a successor.

Murren has led the company since 2008. A corporate statement Wednesday said he intends to leave before his contract expires next year, but gave no reason.

“Jim has led the company through growth, transforming it into a global entertainment company with a worldwide footprint and creating value for MGM Resorts shareholders,” board member Roland Hernandez said in the statement.

In the statement, Murren called it “an honor to work with such a talented group of men and women who provide millions of guests with memorable life experiences every day all over the world.”

Publicly traded MGM Resorts has some 80,000 employees at 29 casinos and hotels. Company stock closed Wednesday at $33.66, up 95 cents. Share prices fell in after-hours trading following Murren’s announcement.

The company is the largest employer in Nevada, with several Las Vegas Strip properties.

In recent months it sold its Bellagio, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay resorts to a joint venture including private-equity and real estate company Blackstone Group and MGM Growth Properties LLC. MGM Resorts continues to manage the properties under a leaseback agreement.

Mandalay Bay was the hotel where a gunman opened fire into a concert crowd across the street in 2017 that left 58 people dead in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Murren has been with MGM Resorts and its predecessors since 1998.

As chief executive, he oversaw company involvement in the building of T-Mobile Arena, home to the NHL Vegas Golden Knights and WNBA Las Vegas Aces, and a drive that brought the NFL’s Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas to begin play at a new stadium this year.

The company statement pointed to his “early and strong” support for “diversity, inclusion, and sustainability in Las Vegas,” as well as the opening of two company properties in Macau and efforts to obtain a casino license in Osaka, Japan.

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