Jim Murren has been a part of MGM Resorts International for decades. He entered the company as chief financial officer and was named CEO ten years later. This week, news broke of Jim Murren stepping down from his leadership position in the company.
It’s an interesting development that many didn’t see coming. Murren has been a hugely important part of MGM since the 90s. Today, we’ll look back at some of Murren’s achievements and discuss his reasons for leaving the company.
Let’s get into it!
Changes to MGM Resorts Under CEO Jim Murren
It didn’t take long for Jim Murren to start leading MGM Resorts International (at that time called MGM Mirage). He entered the company as CFO back in 1998. Before long, he was promoted to COO and just a couple of years after that was named CEO. Since that time, the company has undergone some major changes.
After becoming CEO, Murren announced a major restructuring of the company that resulted in annual savings of $500 million. This decision helped to save the company from disaster during the recession of 2008 and 2009. It significantly improved his standing in the company and secured his status as chief executive officer.
Jim Murren also engaged in several sales over the years. The first major Las Vegas property sale came in December of 2018. That month, MGM Resorts sold Treasure Island Hotel & Casino to Phil Ruffin.
MGM Resorts has continued to expand over the years. The company has worked hard to break into the newly-emerging US sports betting industry. Today, MGM has partnerships with several major sports leagues and operates its own sports betting application available in select states.
It’s clear that Jim Murren has been a major part of this company. His work saved MGM Resorts International from bankruptcy and expanded the company more in the US and internationally. Hopefully, Jim Murren stepping down as CEO won’t affect the company in a negative way.
Why is Jim Murren Stepping Down as CEO Right Now?
There’s no rest for the weary when you’re CEO of a major casino company. Jim Murren worked hard for decades and it appears he’s ready for something new. Murren’s contract was set to end soon. It seems he’s calling it a day just a little earlier than many initially thought.
He will continue to serve as CEO until a new successor is appointed. MGM Resorts’ Board Of Directors is currently working to find a suitable replacement. Board member Roland Hernandez released a statement today thanking Murren for his time as CEO.
“On behalf of the entire MGM Resorts Board of Directors, I want to thank Jim for his years of dedication to the company and the community,” he said. “Jim has led [MGM Resorts] through growth, transforming it into a global entertainment company with a worldwide footprint and creating value for MGM Resorts shareholders.”
Jim Murren spoke about his decision to step down, as well.
“Leading MGM Resorts has been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience in my professional career,” Murren said in a statement. “It has been an honor to work with such a talented group of men and women who provide millions of guests with memorable life experiences every day all over the world. We have a solid leadership team in place, and I am confident that they will work with my successor to continue the company’s trajectory of growth and expansion.”
Jim Murren stepping down might not be ideal right now, yet MGM likely has a room full of suitable replacements.
MGM Resorts’ Stock Price Fluctuates
MGM Resorts International is one of the biggest and most successful casino companies in the world. It’s based in Las Vegas and has property in various countries around the world. It’s not uncommon to see MGM’s stock price rise and fall.
Not long after the news of Jim Murren stepping down broke, MGM Resorts International’s stock price rose by 7%. Part of this is also due to the coronavirus infection rates starting to level out. This is expected to open up the casinos currently shut down in Macau.
The company’s Q4 revenue figures did not hit estimates, though. MGM Resorts announced quarterly earnings of $0.08 per share at the end of 2019. That’s significantly less than the Zacks Consensus Estimate at $0.24 per share.
There’s no real cause for concern, though. MGM Resorts remains a highly successful company. It’s also begun generating serious revenue from more Las Vegas property sales. With Macau operations set to begin again, 2020 should be a great year for this company.
Jim Murren stepping down makes sense. The company will now look to get a smart, experienced leader in the CEO position. Stay tuned for updates over the next few months!