John J. Hagenbuch, The Wynn Resorts legacy director at the centre of a battle between the organisation and Elaine Wynn, its co-founder and largest shareholder, has decided not to stand for re-election to the board of directors.
The surprise move comes on eve of the Wynn Resorts annual shareholders meeting in Las Vegas tomorrow (Wednesday May 16), with fellow director Robert J.Miller also tendering his resignation from the board.
Hagenbuch explained: “Over the past three months, the Board has done a remarkable job maintaining stability at Wynn and managing through a tumultuous time that could easily have caused much deeper disruption to the company’s business.
“There is still more work to be done, and I do not want my candidacy to detract from the important progress we have made throughout the organisation, including the ongoing refreshment process this board has initiated.
“Wynn Resorts is a strong company, poised for long-term growth and superior shareholder value creation, and I am proud to have served on its board.”
This follows a number of well documented headlines emanating from Wynn Resorts this year, which has seen former CEO and co-founder Steve Wynn resign amidst sexual assault allegations, with Ray Irani and Ted Virtue also departing.
Elaine Wynn had previously stated the desire for a “new Wynn” to be created when urging votes to be withheld from Hagenbuch, with the company itself issuing its own lengthy response backing re-election.
With the upcoming departure of director Alvin Shoemaker in 2019, Wynn states that 60 per cent of the board that served at the beginning of 2018 will no longer be with the hotel and casino operator.
Fellow departing director Miller stated: “The time has come to leave the past behind and allow Wynn Resorts to embrace a wonderful future.
“I am thrilled with the recent additions of Betsy Atkins, Dee Dee Myers and Wendy Webb to the Board, and I believe a new standard of excellence in corporate leadership has been established.
“My departure will afford the Board the opportunity to continue to bring on new, independent voices and fresh perspectives. I have been proud to be part of one of the world’s finest resort companies and have the utmost confidence in our Board and management team’s ability to successfully remake Wynn for the future.”
Pat Mulroy, Chair of the Board’s Special Committee and member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, added: “I commend Jay and Bob for their strong stewardship on the Board and for always putting the best interests of the Company and its shareholders first.
“Jay was a superb Chairman of the Audit Committee and an invaluable member of the Special Committee – his wisdom, thoughtfulness and commitment to an objective process will be sorely missed.
“Bob, as the longest serving director of this Company, added incredible value to our process and work. I am grateful to have had the honor of working with them.”