Wall Street veteran dons Park Place pinstripes

Mar 26, 2002 5:27 AM

Park Place Entertainment Corporation recently named as its new Chief Financial Officer Harry C. Hagerty, a financial executive and former gaming industry investment banker.

Hagerty replaces former CFO Scott LaPorta, who left the company in January.

Hagerty, 41, joins Park Place with 17 years of experience in investment banking with major Wall Street firms, including five years as the head of the gaming and lodging groups for Deutsche Morgan Grenfell Inc. and BancBoston Robertson Stephens Inc.

Most recently, Hagerty served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for a Massachusetts-based software firm and as a senior ­­financial adviser for several technology companies involved in digital imaging.

“Harry Hagerty has an impressive track record on both sides of corporate finance,’’ said Park Place President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas E. Gallagher. “As a longtime gaming industry investment banker responsible for numerous major transactions, he has a detailed understanding of our business.”

In his recent positions as CFO and COO of some significant technology ventures, he also acquired valuable operating experience, Gallagher said.

“We expect Harry to be a key player in our efforts to grow profitable revenues, improve our margins and use our capital wisely,’’ Gallagher said.

For his part, Hagerty said he would be up to the challenge.

“Park Place has the industry’s broadest portfolio of gaming brands. In its three years as a public company, Park Place has built a strong financial foundation. The company is now poised to build on that foundation and deliver the growth and profitability that shareholders rightly expect,’’ Hagerty said. “I look forward to working with Tom Gallagher and the entire Park Place management team in those ­­efforts.’’

Hagerty began his investment banking career in 1982 at Salomon Brothers. In addition to his positions at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and BancBoston Robertson Stephens, he spent eight years at Dillon, Read and Co. Inc.

Immediately prior to joining Park Place, Hagerty served as COO and CFO of Akula Software, Inc., a handheld software company with an impressive list of early customers. He also served as president of Venator Corporate Advisors, a financial advisory firm focused on entrepreneurial enterprises.

Hagerty received an MBA degree from Harvard University in 1986 and an AB in economics from Princeton University, where he was graduated cum laude in 1982. His appointment, effective last Monday, is subject to all applicable regulatory approvals.

Park Place Entertainment is the world’s largest gaming company and owns, manages or has an interest in 28 gaming properties operating under the Bally’s, Caesars, Flamingo, Grand and Hilton brand names with a total of approximately 2 million square feet of gaming space, more than 28,000 hotel rooms and 55,000 employees worldwide.

Additional information about Park Place Entertainment can be accessed through the company’s 24-hour investor relations service. Individuals may call toll-free 877-PPE-NYSE (877-773-6973).