Casinos do some executive shifting

Apr 21, 2009 5:04 PM
by Ray Poirier | With less than a month’s experience on the job as CEO of International Game Technology (IGT), Patti S. Hart has reached out to beef up her staff with the appointment of two new vice presidents.

One, Tom Mikulich, is the former president of TI Hotel/Casino, recently purchased by entrepreneur Phil Ruffin. Mikulich, a former senior vice president of casino operations at the Mirage Resort, will be vice president of MegaJackpots.

The other is Craig Billings, a former executive with Goldman Sachs, who will be vice president of corporate finance and investor relations.

Billings, who has an MBA from Columbia Business School, most recently served as vice president in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs in London, England.

At Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN), David R. Sisk has resigned as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Although the announcement has not been made as yet, he reportedly is being replaced by Scott Peterson, who has been serving as CFO at Wynn Macau.

Jason Ader, for many years one of the most respected gaming analysts while employed by Bear Stearns, has joined the board of directors of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS). Ader, founder and CEO of Hayground Cove Asset Management, succeeds James Purcell, who resigned from the board last month.

Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) announced that former company CEO Mark Yoseloff has agreed to a part-time position with the company during which he will provide the company with specific product strategy and development services. The agreement is for one year and will provide Yoseloff with a payment of $6,000 per month.

Dave Hanlon, a longtime gaming executive who held positions with Caesars Palace, Harrah’s Entertainment and International Game Technology, has resigned his position as CEO of Empire Resorts Inc. (NYNY). Also leaving the company is CFO Ronald Radcliffe.

Empire Resorts, operator of Monticello Raceway in the New York Catskills, has named Eric Reehl as its new restructuring officer.

Deutsche Bank has announced that it will no longer maintain an equity research analyst for the U.S. casino industry. The company’s most recent analyst, Bill Lerner, immediately formed his own company, Union Gaming Group.

Lerner, whose company will perform independent research and consulting services for the casino industry, has been joined by two other former Deutsche Bank employees, Grant Govertsen and Rich Moriarty.

David Goldberg, chief operating officer of Youbet.com (UBET), has been nominated for election to the company board of directors. He will fill the position being vacated by J.B. Pritzker.

In Missouri, Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed former lawmaker James Mathewson to the state’s gaming commission. Mathewson is the owner of Mathewson Broadcasting.