After resigning as finance chairman of Republican National Committee back in January, Steve Wynn has also now resigned as CEO and chairman of Wynn Resorts, which was announced Tuesday by the company.
US tycoon Steve Wynn has resigned from his casino company Wynn Resorts, as the billionaire tries to deal with claims that he routinely subjected women who worked for him to perform unwanted sexual advances.
The 76-year-old has denied the accusations, saying that they are ‘preposterous' and that they were instigated by his ex-wife to gain advantage in their divorce lawsuit. Wynn owns about 11.8% of Wynn Resorts, while his ex-wife has 9.4%.
In a January report, the Wall Street Journal published detailed allegations spanning decades of sexual misconduct by the casino magnate.
The company said it had appointed Matt Maddox, its president since 2013, as CEO, effective immediately. Maddox has been known to be with Wynn Resorts Ltd ever since it was founded in 2002 and he's seen as a firm hand and is widely seen as a favored protégé of Steve Wynn. Also effective immediately, Boone Wayson was appointed as non-executive chairman.
As a result, trade in shares of Wynn Macau was halted on Wednesday.
The company released a statement that the former CEO did not admit to any wrongdoing, but instead the decision was based on the ‘environment' created by the allegations themselves. Wynn said in his statement, "In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity ... I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles."
Losing Steve Wynn is a heavy blow for the global gambling empire he built that also bears his name.
According to Forbes.com, Steve Wynn has a net worth of $3.3 billion. He was the man behind famous Las Vegas casinos in the 1960s, creating some of Sin City's most iconic landmarks - the Mirage (opened in 1989), Treasure Island (1993), and the Bellagio (1998).
However, because of a hostile takeover in 2000, he was forced to sell his multi-billion dollar operation Mirage Resorts to tycoon Kirk Kerkorian, who then went on to create MGM Mirage, while Wynn moved on to create Wynn Resorts with his ex-wife in 2002.
In 2006, he opened his first casino in Macau, where gambling revenues are much bigger than in Las Vegas. An even bigger one, the Wynn Palace, was built 10 years later.
The shares in Wynn Resorts (which owns the Wynn, Encore Las Vegas casinos and also its Wynn Macau branch) have plummeted almost 20% since the Wall Street Journal report on January 26. By market capitalization, the company is worth approximately $17 billion.
Shares in Wynn Macau have dropped to 17% before they were put on a trading halt on Wednesday.
Analysts are now speculating whether Wynn would decide to sell or reduce his stake, and how much fighting will ensure over control of the firm. Analyst at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong Praveen Choudhary said, "Some investors might consider the resignation of Steve Wynn as the removal of an overhang on the stock, but we think that many uncertainties remain around who will be the controlling shareholders in future."