Steve Wynn resigns as CEO of Wynn Resorts

The Wynn Las Vegas, one of five Wynn Resorts properties currently in operation. Photo credit: Wynn Resorts

Steve Wynn, a developer and owner of luxury hotels and casinos, resigned yesterday as CEO of Wynn Resorts amid accusations of sexual misconduct that began circulating in January. 

In a statement released yesterday, Wynn Resorts announced that its board of directors has accepted Wynn’s resignation as CEO and chairman of the board, effective immediately: 

"It is with a collective heavy heart, that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts today accepted the resignation of our founder, CEO and friend Steve Wynn," non-executive director of the board Boone Wayson said in the statement. "Steve Wynn is an industry giant. He is a philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary. He played the pivotal role in transforming Las Vegas into the entertainment destination it is today. He also assembled a world-class team of executives that will continue to meet the high standards of excellence that Steve Wynn created and the Wynn brand has come to represent."

The report also clarified that details of Wynn’s separation from Wynn Resorts will be disclosed as they are finalized, and then concluded with a statement from Wynn where he challenges the accusations against him.

"In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity. As I have reflected upon the environment this has created—one in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts—I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles. Therefore, effective immediately, I have decided to step down as CEO and chairman of the board of Wynn Resorts, a company I founded and that I love,” Wynn’s statement reads.

"The Wynn Resorts team and I have built houses of brick. Which is to say, the institution we created—a collection of the finest designers and architects ever assembled, as well as an operating philosophy now ingrained in the minds and hearts of our entire team—will remain standing for the long term. I am extremely proud of everything we have built at this company. Most of all, I am proud of our employees.

"The succession plan laid out by the board of directors and which I wholeheartedly endorse now places Matt Maddox in the CEO seat. With Matt, Wynn Resorts is in good hands. He and his team are well positioned to carry on the plans and vision for the company I created."

Wynn concluded with a message to the company's employees.  

"I want to thank all of the employees who have made Wynn Resorts the most admired resort company in the world, and for the support I have received from them in recent weeks," he said. "Most importantly, I want everyone to continue to be proud of this company and the many unique ways it will forever continue to delight guests." 

The allegations against Wynn were put forth last month in an article by the Wall Street Journal. Dozens of current and former employees claim Wynn has displayed a “pattern of sexual misconduct,” and Wynn reportedly paid a $7.5-million settlement to a woman claiming he pressured her into sex.

Wynn also notably acted as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee, a position he vacated last week in light of the accusations.

Now, the Associated Press is reporting that Wynn is under investigation by gambling regulators in Nevada and Massachusetts, where the company is building a roughly $2.4 billion casino just outside Boston. Regulators in Macau have inquired about the investigation because Wynn Resorts operates several casinos in Macau, and the AP reported that shares of Wynn Resorts' China arm, Wynn Macau Ltd., were suspended from trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday morning in Asia.

Wynn Resorts operates the Wynn Las Vegas, Wynn Macau Resort, the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, the Encore at Wynn Macau and the Wynn Palace in Macau. The company also is developing the Wynn Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass., which is expected to open June 24, 2019.