Asian casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd – a Nasdaq-listed company that uses the stock ticker name MPEL – announced on Friday several key executive appointments. The firm also announced a new leadership structure, with a president for each of the company’s Macau properties.
Macau casino industry veteran Gabriel Hunterton – who previously worked for, respectively, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and MGM China Holdings Ltd – was named property president of casino resort City of Dreams, Macau, the firm said in a Friday release.
Andy Choy became property president of casino hotel Altira Macau and of Mocha Clubs, the latter being a Macau-based chain of slot-machine halls. He was previously chief gaming officer for Melco International Development Ltd, the single largest shareholder of Melco Crown.
Prior to Mr Choy’s appointment, Altira Macau – located on Macau’s Taipa Island – was headed by Constance Hsu Ching Hui. Melco Crown’s Friday release made no mention of Ms Hsu.
“These changes are part of the process to make Melco Crown stronger and more efficient, and to better position the company to fully exploit future growth opportunities,” the firm’s chairman and chief executive, Lawrence Ho Yau Lung (pictured in a file photo), said in a statement included in Friday’s release.
In September, Melco Crown hired David Sisk, a former chief operating officer for Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd, as president of the 60-percent Melco Crown-owned Studio City property on Cotai in Macau.
Two months later, Melco Crown’s then chief operating officer, Ted Chan Ying Tat, resigned “for personal reasons”. He had been appointed Melco Crown’s COO in February 2012. He was responsible for overseeing all business units of the group.
Melco Crown said on Friday that the new leadership structure was designed “to be more efficient, to enable faster decision-making and provide clear accountabilities” [sic].
Melco Crown also announced on Friday the appointment of Frederic Winckler – a former executive for luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton – to the newly created role chief marketing and brand officer. Mr Ho had previously said that Melco Crown was not very satisfied with the ramp up of Studio City and its own marketing efforts.
In addition, Jarlath Lynch was named senior vice president for hotels and food and beverage, also a newly-created role.
“This position was created to emphasise the growing importance of Melco Crown’s non-gaming propositions and Melco Crown’s pursuit of excellence in both its hotel and food and beverage offering,” the firm said.
Mr Lynch was already a part of the Melco Crown team, having previously served as senior vice president for hotels and food and beverage at the firm’s City of Dreams Manila property, in the Philippines.
Melco International – led by Mr Ho – said on December 15 it had signed an agreement to purchase an additional 13.4-percent stake in Melco Crown from Australia-based casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd. Upon completion, Melco International will own a 51.3-percent stake in Melco Crown, while Crown Resorts’ shareholding in the latter company will be reduced to 14.0 percent.
Crown Resorts has meanwhile announced that it would further reduce its stake in Melco Crown.
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"After a challenging period, the Macau market is growing again, and its growth rate has been accelerating for three consecutive quarters. Our Macau operation is experiencing strong growth in both our mass gaming and non-gaming segments"
Chairman of gaming operator Las Vegas Sands and subsidiary Sands China