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Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Steve Wynn Steps Down as CEO of Wynn Resorts Amid Misconduct Allegations

Steve Wynn Steps Down as CEO of Wynn Resorts Amid Misconduct Allegations

"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 can not continue to be effective in my current roles", Wynn said.

The Las Vegas billionaire has vehemently denied the allegations, which he attributes to a campaign led by his ex-wife. An attorney for Elaine Wynn has denied that she instigated the news report. Regulators in Nevada, Massachusetts and Macau are reviewing the claims, and Wynn Resorts' board has launched its own investigation.

Wynn's decision removes some overhang from the stock, which has lost almost a fifth of its value since January 26 when reports of the allegations first surfaced, analysts said.

Wynn Resorts declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Now that Wynn has resigned, the board's investigation is even more urgent, said Betsy Atkins, a corporate governance expert who currently serves on the boards of Schneider Electric, HD Supply, Cognizant and Volvo.

While Wynn is stepping down from the company he founded, his name remains on the casino properties.

Maddox is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and worked for Bank of America and Park Place Entertainment before joining Wynn Resorts.

WYNN stock was up 8% as of noon Wednesday. And it said it was reluctantly announcing that it had accepted his resignation.

Casino mogul Steve Wynn at a news conference in Medford, Mass., in 2016.

Indeed in his hometown, Wynn is credited with taking the city's casinos from the era of gin joints and saloons into modern luxury resorts, with suites and art galleries and high-end dining. His latest decision to step down as CEO comes amidst a sharp decline in the share price for Wynn Resorts which fell some 18% in less than two weeks. The company is active in Las Vegas and Macau, China, and is building a resort outside Boston.

"I don't think Wynn itself had significant day-to-day involvement in the operations of the Macau assets, so I don' think we'll see much of a change at all". The $2.4 billion resort casino is slated to open in June 2019. He, however, is Wynn Resorts' largest shareholder and owns about 12 percent of the company. Taking over the CEO position is current President Matt Maddox.

Details of Mr. Wynn's separation agreement will be disclosed when they are finalized.

Steve Wynn had already stepped down from his position as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee after the allegations were made public.

Since 2013, Wynn, who is Jewish, has contributed almost $2.4 million to Republican candidates and party organizations around the country, according to AP.

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