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Star Sydney CEO Resigns After Just Eight Months in Charge

Posted on April 13, 2023 | 7:24 am

Star Entertainment, one of the biggest operators of land-based casinos in Australia, has announced that Star Sydney, its most important property, has been left without a leader after the Chief Executive Officer decided to resign.

Scott Wharton left Star Entertainment because he accepted a new role with another company. Media reports claim that the respective company is Smartgroup, which is active in salary packaging and novated leases. The former Star Sydney CEO also held the role of Head of Transformation for the entire Star Entertainment Group.

Wharton joined Star Sydney in July 2022, shortly after Robert Cooke took the position of Chief Executive Officer at Star Entertainment. The former Star Sydney CEO has been an executive with CommoCommonwealth Bank of Australia and was expected to drive Star’s culture transformation following the regulatory review into its operations.

Star Entertainment was found unsuitable to hold a casino license in Sydney following a government investigation, but the company was allowed a two-year window in which it is supposed to transform its business and make it fully compliant with the state laws and regulations in New South Wales.

Scott Wharton was expected to lead that effort, at the time of his appointment Ben Heap, the Interim Chairman of Star Entertainment said: “Scott has exemplary credentials as we drive a renewal program across the group. The work he led at CBA has been recognized as one of the most comprehensive reforms of corporate culture in Australia.”

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Restructuring Coming Up

Following the resignation of Scott Wharton, Robbie Cooke, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Star Entertainment, revealed that a restructuring effort is going to take place.

There will be two separate candidates for Wharton’s two positions: one of them is Nicola Burke, the current General Manager of the Transformation Office, who will become Chief Transformation Officer, while the position of CEO at Star Sydney will be filled at a later stage.

“We still have a lot of work ahead, but the Board and the management team have an unwavering focus on proving our suitability to hold casino licenses in NSW and Queensland,” Robbie Cooke added.

Scott Wharton’s departure from the company comes shortly after Star Entertainment completed an equity raising initiative worth 800 million Australian dollars, helping balance the books after a net loss after tax of 1.26 billion Australian dollars in the first half of the 2022-2023 fiscal year.


“The Star Sydney’s CEO jumps ship just nine months into key reformation role“Inside Asian Gaming. April 3, 2023.

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