Crown Sydney Top Seat Vacant After CEO Hangs Boots

Simon McGrath, the CEO and group head of hospitality at Crown Sydney, has announced his departure from the casino. Simon McGrath has resigned and will leave the high-stakes casino in September. Blackstone, the casino’s owner, is expected to replace him with a new worker from Macau, a popular gambling destination in China.

Before leaving his current position, McGrath was a top executive for hotels such as Southern Pacific Hotels and Rydges Hotel Group. He departed Accor Pacific in February this year to become CEO of Crown’s new Barangaroo skyscraper.

There, he played a significant role in improving the company’s image in the eyes of authorities and the general public after a severe New South Wales(NSW) inquiry into Crown’s actions determined that it was unfit to operate the casino.

Crown informed NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia regulators that it could alter its licenses and should do so. To do this, it removed its board of directors and key executives and spent millions of dollars on new corporate governance procedures.

Steve McCann, the former CEO of the group, Jane Halton, the previous chairwoman, and Mr. McGrath were extensively involved in the scandal.

McGrath has also been lauded for his contributions to the hotel business. For instance, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List in recognition of his efforts to promote Australian tourism abroad.

Crown Casino stated that they knew of Mr. McGrath’s departure and would “soon” announce his replacement. Blackstone is searching for someone with “deep gaming knowledge,” according to a company insider.

The fact that the company is hiring someone from outside the United States demonstrates how well it has done with hiring since the private equity giant acquired it.

While the private equity consortium reorganizes the restructured organization, the group head of hospitality position will not be filled.

The rise of McGrath

Crown Resorts’ CEO and managing director, Steve McCann, said McGrath’s appointment is well-timed, as Crown Sydney is preparing a new asset focused on the profitable, high-end luxury market to help revive international travel.

Upon McGrath’s promotion to CEO, McCann stated, “We are happy that Simon has joined the executive team at Crown. He will direct our newest Australian resort in Sydney and be responsible for our hospitality services.” “Simon is a well-known CEO who will bring to Crown his years of experience running luxury hotels and hospitality enterprises worldwide.”

McGrath has previously served as a top executive with Southern Pacific Hotels and Rydges Hotel Groups.

“We are confident that Crown Sydney will elevate the bar for all of our customers and guests under Simon’s direction.”

McGrath’s new responsibilities included strategic oversight of Crown Sydney’s operations, marketing, branding, and business development.

The project comprised a Crown Towers hotel with 349 guest rooms, luxury houses, shops, a pool, a spa, and conference rooms, in addition to several renowned, upscale restaurants.

In addition to being the CEO of Crown Sydney, Mr. McGrath also served as the group head of hospitality for Crown Resorts, which means he will provide strategic guidance.

McGrath began his two Crown positions in February 2022. This year, he was the final key executive appointed as part of McCann’s massive business restructuring initiative.

The Fallout

The first casino level of Crown Sydney opened in early August, sixteen months after the skyscraper was completed. It was granted a provisional operating license by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority of New South Wales.

Crown Casino has been in disarray since The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, and 60 Minutes reported in mid-2019 that international criminal networks and money launderers had infiltrated the corporation.

Crown was required to modify its board, management, and procedures to satisfy the government. Crown was granted a conditional license to operate its Barangaroo casino in June. The temporary permit is valid until December 31, 2023.

Since then, official examinations in each of the three states where Crown operates have concluded that the company is unsuitable for a casino license. It could not open the high-stakes casino in its new $2.2 billion tower in Sydney in late 2020.

Tuesday, Crown’s gaming floors were shuttered for standard technology and operations tests. This played no role in Mr. McGrath’s choice to depart. Crown stated that the entry halt occurred during an idle period and that consumers tolerated the delay.

Crown stated that they knew of Mr. McGrath’s departure and that his second position as the company’s head of hospitality will expire when he leaves later this year.

Last Updated on by Ryan

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