Bill Hornbuckle was announced as CEO and President of MGM Resorts International, replacing the outgoing Jim Murren who stepped down earlier than expected due to the continuing outbreak of COVID-19.
In early February, Murren informed the company’s board of directors of his intentions to vacate the role before the expiry of his contract, but, in the light of the public health crisis, he left with immediate effect to provide the company with continuity of leadership.
Replacing Murren as president of the board of directors will be Paul Salem, who is currently a member of the board of directors of MGM Resorts and president of the real estate committee that is in the process of introducing the asset light strategy.
Salem said: “The nation is facing an unprecedented crisis, causing the travel and hospitality industry to grind to a near halt. It is clear that once the threat to the public health has subsided and we are ready to reopen our resorts and casinos, it will take an incredible effort to ramp back up. We believe continued steady, skilled leadership is needed in this time of great upheaval and uncertainty.
“Bill is one of the most experienced operators in the business and we have confidence in his ability to bring this company back online. Jim Murren is an outstanding leader who transformed MGM Resorts during his 22 years. Since Jim announced his stepping down from MGM Resorts, we felt that now more than ever, continuity of leadership was of vital importance.”
Murren commented: “I fully support accelerating the planned leadership transition to help MGM Resorts address the rapidly changing environment. I have great confidence in Bill Hornbuckle and the management team to lead MGM Resorts at this critical juncture, as we have together through numerous hardships of the past. I will continue to dedicate my efforts to help during this uncertain time, and I will be assisting the State of Nevada in its crisis response and recovery efforts.”
Acknowledging the challenge ahead, Hornbuckle said: “We have a talented leadership team, the best employees in the world, and a loyal customer base. I have every confidence that MGM Resorts will remain the global entertainment leader once this crisis is contained and it is safe to operate. I look forward to working with Paul and the entire Board of Directors as we plan for the future.”