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Crown Resorts Chooses Ziggy Switkowski As New Chairman

Posted on August 31, 2021 | 11:05 am

Crown Resorts, the biggest casino operator in Australia, has decided to make a major move at the head of the company, replacing chairman Helen Coonan with experienced corporate leader Ziggy Switkowski.

The new Crown Resorts chairman currently holds the position of chancellor at RMIT University and he is also the chairman of NBN Corporation. Moreover, Switkowski was previously chairman of Suncorp Group, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and Opera Australia.

The experienced corporate executive also covered the roles of chief executive and managing director of Telstra Corporation and Optus also served as a non-executive director of important Australian companies like Tabcorp, Healthscope, Oil Search, Lynas and Amcor.

The replacement of Helen Coonan is not a surprise at all, it was even implied in the company’s recent closing submissions to Victoria’s Royal Commission into Crown Melbourne’s suitability to retain its casino license.

However, the corporation issued a statement to recognize the former chairman’s important role and contribution. “We want to acknowledge Helen’s contribution through a particularly challenging period for the business,” the statement read. “When Crown needed strong and principled leadership, Helen stepped up. Helen has played a crucial role in stabilising Crown and brought to the business a culture of care, nurturing a more cohesive workplace for our people.”

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Restoring Trust

About the appointment of Ziggy Switkowski as the new chairman, Crown Resorts revealed that the company’s expectation is to “restore the trust of regulators, investors, employees, customers and the wider community.”

The company statement added that the new chairman’s “experience and capabilities are well suited to meeting the challenges currently confronting” the corporation, as it is facing investigations in Victoria and Western Australia.

The company’s difficulties have attracted takeover bids in recent months. In March, Crown Resorts received a takeover offer from Blackstone Group, a private equity giant, which had already acquired 9.99% of the business in April 2020. Blackstone’s latest offer was worth 12.35 dollars in cash for each Crown share, but it was rejected by the Australian corporation.

Then The Star Entertainment Group issued a merger proposal, aiming to create a new entity that was supposed to dominate the gambling industry in Australia. However, that bid was later withdrawn as there was little interest from Crown’s part.

Source: “Telco veteran Ziggy Switkowski to replace Helen Coonan as Crown Resorts chair“Inside Asian Gaming. August 27, 2021.

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