Gamal Abdelaziz (pictured) has resigned as president and executive director of Wynn Macau Ltd with effect from Friday, “in order to pursue other opportunities,” the Macau casino firm announced in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The executive – also referred to in company communications as Gamal Aziz – was hired in January 2013 by the casino group’s founder Steve Wynn, to drive the development of the firm’s Cotai project Wynn Palace. The property opened on August 22 this year. Prior to his appointment, Mr Abdelaziz had spent 12 years as a senior executive in MGM Resorts International’s hospitality division.
A Friday afternoon press release from the casino operator added: “Earlier today, Mr Gamal Aziz resigned his post as president of Wynn Macau Ltd. Mr Aziz was brought in to lead the development and successful opening of Wynn Palace Cotai. Having completed that assignment, Mr Aziz resigned with the thanks of the board of directors, [which] expressed its gratitude to Mr Aziz for his significant contributions to the company.”
Ian Coughlan – since 2007 president of Wynn Resorts (Macau) SA, the local unit that holds the Wynn group’s Macau gaming concession – has been named as the president of Wynn Macau Ltd. He will retain his role as president of the local unit. Mr Coughlan has been an executive director of Wynn Macau Ltd – a subsidiary of U.S.-based Wynn Resorts Ltd – since 2009.
“Mr Coughlan, as president of the company and Wynn Resorts (Macau), will be responsible for the entire operation and development of [the] Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace [properties],” said Wynn Macau Ltd in its Friday filing.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd stated in a Monday note on Macau and referring to Mr Abdelaziz: “The departure itself may be a sign of a ‘disappointing’ start of Wynn Palace or the fact that Wynn’s strategy of running the two Macau properties as separate entities is not working. Nevertheless, we have a positive view of Ian Coughlan – who has strong experience at Wynn and in Macau – to be able to drive performance at Wynn Macau [Ltd].”
(Updated 9.59am, Oct 3)
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau