LAS VEGAS—MGM Resorts International named COO/President Bill Hornbuckle acting CEO/president, replacing outgoing Chairman/CEO Jim Murren. Replacing Murren as the chair of the board of directors is Paul Salem, who currently is a member of the MGM Resorts board of directors and chair of the real estate committee of MGM Resorts, which is in the process of executing the asset-light strategy.
Murren informed the company’s board of directors in early February of his plans to step down prior to the expiration of his contract, and in light of the public health crisis gripping the nation and the travel industry, has vacated the position as of today so as to provide continuity of leadership for the company.
“The nation is facing an unprecedented crisis, causing the travel and hospitality industry to grind to a near halt,” said Salem. “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 added, “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.”
“We have an incredible challenge ahead. We have a talented leadership team, the best employees in the world and a loyal customer base,” said Hornbuckle. “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.”