Bill Hornbuckle has been confirmed as acting CEO and President of MGM Resorts International, replacing the outgoing Jim Murren who has stepped down earlier than planned due to the ongoing CORVID-19 outbreak. 

Murren informed the firm’s Board of Directors in early February of his plans to vacate the role prior to the expiration of his contract, but in light of the public health crisis he leaves with immediate effect to provide continuity of leadership for the company.

Replacing Murren as the Chair of the Board of Directors will be Paul Salem, who currently is a member of the MGM Resorts Board of Directors and Chair of its real estate committee, which is in the process of executing the asset light strategy.

“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,” said Salem. “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.”

Hornbuckle, acknowledging the challenge ahead, 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.”