By Tim Poole
MGM Resorts International has announced Chairman and CEO Jim Murren is stepping down.
Murren took the role of CEO in 2008, having joined MGM in 1998, and was instrumental in the development of CityCenter, MGM’s expansion in Asia and the growth of Las Vegas’ entertainment and sporting landscape.
With his contract previously due to expire on 31 December 2020, MGM confirmed Murren will leave his role earlier than planned, although he will stay on until a successor is appointed.
Murren said: "Leading MGM Resorts has been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience in my professional career.
"It has been 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."
The operator’s share price initially rose after it reported the change in leadership and also published its full year and Q4 results.
That increase came despite MGM withdrawing its 2020 financial targets, due to headwinds like the coronavirus-related closure of its Macau casinos.
MGM’s Q4 results, meanwhile, were "below expectations," with net revenue growing 4% year-on-year to $3.2bn and adjusted EBITDAR decreasing 3% to $682m.
However, for the full year, MGM’s net revenue still grew 10% to $12.9bn.
Net income attributable to the operator was $2bn for 2019, compared to $467m in the corresponding period, and adjusted EBITDAR increased 6% to $3bn.