Wynn Resorts Ltd. elected former Harrah’s Chief Executive Officer Phil Satre to the position of vice chairman of the board after reaching a settlement with its largest shareholder, Elaine Wynn.
Satre will take over as chairman of the Las Vegas-based casino operator following the retirement later this year of D. Boone Wayson, Wynn Resorts said in a statement Monday. Under the agreement with Elaine Wynn, who owns just under 9 percent of the stock, she won’t significantly increase her stake, nominate more directors, or join groups seeking a takeover until 2020. She’ll be reimbursed for as much as $5 million in expenses she incurred to launch a proxy fight earlier this year and negotiate the agreement.
“I have long respected Phil as a leader in the gaming industry and am confident that his addition to the company’s leadership team, coupled with the plans laid out by management, will bring the company tremendous success in the years to come,” Elaine Wynn said in a statement.
The deal settles years of fighting between Elaine, the ex-wife of former Chief Executive Officer Steve Wynn, and the company since her ouster from the board in 2015. She unsuccessfully launched a proxy challenge to regain her seat that year and earlier this year got a director who had ties to her ex-husband knocked off the board. Steve Wynn resigned as CEO in February following allegations of sexual harassment and later sold all his shares. Wayson is his longtime friend.
“I am proud of our accomplishments and am pleased that someone as outstanding as Phil will succeed me in the role as chairman,” Wayson said in the statement.
Satre helped build Harrah’s, now known as Caesars Entertainment Corp., from a regional player into the largest owner of casinos in the U.S. He currently serves as chairman of retailer Nordstrom Inc. and slot machine maker International Game Technology Plc.
While Satre’s appointment and the settlement put to rest the tensions with the company’s largest shareholder, Wynn Resorts still faces investigations into the sexual harassment allegations that could challenge its gaming licenses in Nevada, Macau and Massachusetts. A report is expected from regulators in Boston by end of the summer.
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