U.S.-based Scientific Games Corp on Monday announced that the company’s chief financial officer (CFO), Scott Schweinfurth, would be retiring at the end of the year. Mr Schweinfurth is also the company’s executive vice president and corporate secretary.
“Mr Schweinfurth will continue in his role through the company’s year-end financial audit and filing of its form 10-K and the appointment of his successor,” Scientific Games said.
The Nasdaq-listed firm additionally said Mr Schweinfurth would work closely with the management team “to ensure a smooth and successful transition of responsibilities”.
Scientific Games, originally a specialist in lottery equipment and management, in November 2014 acquired slot machine and floor management systems specialist Bally Technologies Inc in a transaction valued at US$5.1 billion. In 2013, Scientific Games took over U.S.-based slot-machine maker WMS Industries Inc for US$1.5 billion.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my 20-plus years in the gaming industry at Scientific Games, WMS and Bally, but now it’s time for me to retire,” Mr. Schweinfurth said in a statement.
He added: “With the talented and experienced team we’ve built as we integrated our companies, I am confident that it is the right time to transition the company’s financial leadership.”
Scientific Games said it has initiated a search process and hired executive search firm Egon Zehnder to help with the process. “The company plans to consider both internal and external candidates to fill the CFO position,” it added.
Commenting on the retirement, research firm Telsey Advisory Group LLC said it viewed the event as negative for Scientific Games’ stock. “We believe the early retirement suggests the business could be in worse shape than is publicly understood,” analysts David Katz and Brian Davis said in a note on Monday.
Scientific Games earlier this month posted a net loss of US$678.2 million for the third quarter of 2015. The figure compared with a loss of US$69.8 million in the prior-year period.
In Monday’s note, Telsey Advisory said Scientific Games most recently reported quarter “was somewhat worse than expected and the company wrote down its US$1.5 billion acquisition of WMS by [about] US$500 million”.
“While the company has one turn of room before reaching the senior leverage covenant, the retirement suggests things could be worse than understood and there are more shoes to drop,” said Mr Katz and Mr Davis.
On Monday, Scientific Games separately announced the appointment of Michael Quartieri as vice president and corporate controller.
Mr Quartieri most recently served for nine years as senior vice president and chief accounting officer for casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. Previously, he had a 13-year tenure at Deloitte and Touche, where he served as director of audit and assurance services, focusing on gaming and hospitality clients.
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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