Crown Resorts Ltd has added two new members to its board and seen its share price rise by one percent in the process.
In a November 21 filing, the parent company of Melbourne’s Crown Casino announced that Aristocrat Leisure Ltd.’s chief financial officer, Toni Korsanos, will join the company. Although her tenure won’t start until her contract with Aristocrat has ended, Korsanos will become Crown Resorts’ new non-executive director.
Korsanos Chooses Australia Over America
Korsanos had previously been scheduled for a move to the US as part of Aristocrat’s corporate restructuring. With chief executive Trevor Croker relocating to North America to forge better links with the company’s largest customers, Korsanos was set to follow suit.
However, since new of the move was made public in March, the industry veteran appears to have had a change of heart. In the recent filing, executive chairman John Alexander said that Korsanos would bring “extensive experience” to the company which has seen a succession of public and financial troubles in recent months.
Due to the ongoing crackdown on offshore gambling operators by the Chinese government, Crown’s foreign assets were dealt a blow in 2016 when 19 employees were arrested. The incident resulted in employees operating at various levels within the company spending time behind bars.
The knock-on effects of the arrests, coupled with increasingly restricted operations in Macau, have forced Crown executives to refocus on internal matters.
As a result, James Packer returned to the board in January 2017, followed by Alexander in February.
Fresh Blood to Heal Old Wounds
With Packer back and Alexander leading a push to refocus on the company’s Australian assets, Korsanos will be expected to use her knowledge of the market to bolster revenue. Alongside Korsanos’ affinity for numbers, gaming technology and risk management, Jane Halton has also been drafted in to help Crown’s Aussie assault.
The former secretary of the government’s Department of Finance, Halton will bring another layer of financial acumen to the casino brand. Indeed, during Crown’s annual meeting back in October, Alexander reported that VIP revenue was down by 17 percent in the first four months of the fiscal year.
Although floor gaming revenue showed a slight improvement, the hole left by the flagging VIP activity has been a cause for concern over the last few months. However, the addition of two experts appears to have lift the moods of those with an interest in Crown.
Following the announcement, the Crown’s share price increased by one percent as the executive team looks to push growth in new areas throughout 2018.