Shareholders of U.S.-based casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd voted against the company’s executive compensation plan at its annual meeting last week, the firm said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.
Nearly 78.9 percent of the company’s shareholders voted against the compensation proposal put forward at the May 16 meeting. According to the filing, only 19.7 percent of shareholders voted in favour of the proposal.
A Wynn Resorts spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the company was prepared to act on the result. “Compensation practices will be a part of that [proposed] evolution, and we look forward to the future support of our stockholders through the process,” the spokesman was quoted as saying.
Wynn Resorts had said in its proxy statement ahead of the annual general meeting that the firm’s compensation committee had approved an amended agreement with Matt Maddox, in connection with his promotion to chief executive of the group. The firm’s compensation committee had also approved amended agreements with Kim Sinatra, the group’s executive vice president and general counsel, and Craig Billings, the firm’s chief financial officer.
The new agreement with Mr Maddox – as part of the company’s executive compensation plan – provided for a base salary of US$2 million per year and a target annual bonus equal to 250 percent of the annual base salary. It also extended the termination date of the agreement from December 31, 2019 to February 27, 2021, and provided for separation payments that include at least 18 months’ salary, instead of 12 months’ salary.
Mr Maddox assumed the CEO position in February, after the firm’s founder and chief executive Steve Wynn announced his resignation following allegations of sexual misconduct. Mr Wynn – who since has disposed his entire 11.8 percent stake in Wynn Resorts – has denied any wrongdoing.
Wynn Resorts is the parent of Macau casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd.
In the proxy document – filed in April – Wynn Resorts had said that it intended “to continue to improve” the firm’s compensation plans. “Although a majority of our shareholders supported our advisory vote on the compensation of our named executive officers in 2017, the total votes in support – approximately 62 percent – were well short of the levels we had hoped to achieve then, or in future years,” the company said at the time.
In a separate filing on Tuesday, Wynn Resorts said the firm’s compensation committee would comprise all three of its recently-appointed female board members.
The company had said the appointments, made last month, were intended to help “improve the workplace environment and further stabilise Wynn Resorts”. It brought the current representation of female members at the company’s board to “almost 50 percent”.
The structure of the Wynn Resorts’ board has changed dramatically over the past three months, with 60 percent of the directors that had been in place at the start of the year now having departed or about to do so.
The reshaping of Wynn Resorts’ board had been “healthy” for the group and had not had a negative impact on Wynn Macau Ltd’s operations, said Allan Zeman, the latter’s non-executive chairman.
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”I would expect that there might be some clearly-defined criteria … and I’m supportive of a more clearly-defined roadmap for the [gaming] industry”
Co-chairperson and executive director of Macau casino operator MGM China