In her efforts to create a new, post-scandal Wynn Resorts, Elaine Wynn isn't backing down at all. But is this enough for the company to overcome the tarnished reputation her ex-husband has left behind? Still, kudos to her for bringing up the issue of executive compensation. Last year, Steve Wynn was the highest paid hotel CEO, taking home a paycheck of $28 million.
The ex-wife of Steve Wynn, who is also the biggest shareholder and co-founder of Wynn Resorts, is seeking the removal of one of the company directors overseeing an internal investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against the casino magnate.
Elaine Wynn said in a filing Monday with U.S. regulators that John Hagenbuch is allied too closely with Steve Wynn. She asked shareholders to reject his re-election.
Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and CEO and later sold his company shares after the Wall Street Journal reported that several women said he harassed or assaulted them and that one case led to a $7.5 million settlement. He denies the allegations. He has filed a defamation lawsuit against The Associated Press for its reporting on a separate allegation made to police.
Elaine Wynn also raised the issue of executive pay at Wynn, which she said is not tied to performance. She said Hagenbuch was serving on Wynn’s compensation committee when Steve Wynn’s pay was called into question in 2015. She also criticized a recently approved $24 million pay package for CEO Matthew Maddox, calling it “exorbitant for a first-time untested public company CEO.”
Wynn said she is not seeking a seat on the board for herself or anyone else and urged shareholders to withhold votes for Hagenbuch at the annual shareholders meeting on May 16.
Last week, Wynn Resorts announced it was adding three women directors, expanding its board to 11 members.
In a statement in response to Elaine Wynn’s letter Monday, the company noted the board’s expansion. It said the Las Vegas company “is continuing the positive momentum that has accompanied its recent initiatives and is focused on the future.”
It did not directly address Hagenbuch’s status.
Shares of Wynn Resorts Ltd. were up 67 cents at $193.18 in late trading Monday.
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Photo credit: In this March 28, 2018, file photo, Elaine Wynn, ex-wife of Steve Wynn, listens during a hearing in Las Vegas. The ex-wife of Steve Wynn, who is also the biggest shareholder and co-founder of Wynn Resorts, is seeking to remove one of the company directors overseeing an internal investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against the casino magnate. John Locher / Associated Press