Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd announced on Friday that company secretary and general counsel Michael Neilson has stepped down from his role as company secretary. Mr Neilson will remain with the Crown group for a transitional period, the firm said in a press release.
The company additionally said that Mary Manos would continue to act as company secretary and would also become general counsel. Crown Resorts said the change was done “in accordance with the restructure of the legal and compliance function within Crown Resorts, undertaken earlier in the year”.
Mr Neilson had been Crown Resorts’ company secretary and general counsel since December 2007. He had previously served as general counsel for Crown Melbourne Ltd, part of the Crown group.
Mr Neilson is credited in Australian media for having played an important role in Crown Resorts’ sell-off of its stake in Asian casino developer Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, a company that operates casino properties in Macau and in the Philippines.
“On behalf of the Crown board, I would like to thank Michael for 13 years of dedicated service to the company,” Crown Resorts’ executive chairman, John Alexander, said in a statement included in the release. “During that time, Michael played a key role in managing the legal, compliance and regulatory functions across the Crown group and in a number of jurisdictions,” he added.
Crown Resorts announced in June that Robert Rankin – who until January served as non-executive chairman of the company – had resigned as a director of the company. The firm had announced in February that Rowen Craigie was stepping down as its chief executive and managing director.
In Friday’s release, Crown Resorts additionally said that it has appointed board member Helen Coonan to replace Ben Brazil as chair of the firm’s audit and corporate governance committee. Ms Coonan is a former senator and previously served as Australian government cabinet minister for communications and minister for revenue and assistant treasurer.
The latest appointments were announced after the sentencing last month of some employees of Crown Resorts in mainland China. Sixteen of 19 employees from the Australian casino operator were given jail sentences by a Shanghai court on June 26. The defendants had been charged with gambling-related crimes.
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Analyst at Morningstar Asia