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Shocker: Andrew Pascal Resigns From Wynn (Updated)

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 8th November 2010 4:06pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 10

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Here's a shocker from the boardroom, Wynn Las Vegas president Andrew Pascal has resigned from the company effective December 1st, 2010.

Andrew - Elaine Wynn's nephew - is/was/had been groomed to be the heir apparent of the Wynn dynasty and could always be seen walking the resort attending to details large and small. In fact, I saw him at Lakeside Grill during their second day of operation not but a week and a day ago.

Here is the official (and very muted) 8K form statement from Wynn Resorts (not a press release):

On November 7, 2010, Andrew Pascal, the President of Wynn Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, advised Wynn Las Vegas, LLC (the "Company"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wynn Resorts, Limited, that he was resigning his position, effective December 1, 2010. There are no disagreements between the Company and Mr. Pascal that caused or contributed to his resignation. Mr. Pascal will be succeeded by Marilyn Winn Spiegel, age 58, who joins the Company from Harrahs Entertainment, Inc., where she spent 22 years in operations, most recently as Regional President of Bally's, Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.

Three weeks notice? Despite the "no disagreements" statement, this sounds incredibly fishy. The big question is where will Andrew take all of his intimate knowledge and experience of the Wynn way of doing things. Cosmo? Doubtful. An MGM property? Very doubtful. My guess is that Icahn hired him away to take over running his resort empire (including finishing and opening Fontainebleau) as CEO.

Anyone?

Update: I just got off the phone with Wynn Resorts VP of Public Relations Jennifer Dunne who provided a little bit of backstory about Andrew Pascal's decision to leave the company. Apparently Andrew approached Mr. Wynn six or so weeks ago about leaving the company and after some very amicable discussions they agreed to keep the change confidential until a replacement (Marilyn Winn) could be named. The folks there are definitely very sad to see Andrew go as he was very well respected for his professionalism and command of their product and team. Not only was he part of the Wynn exec team, he was literally part of the family.

FWIW, I definitely vouch for Andrew being a total pro and a super nice guy. He has been incredibly generous with his time and thoughts every time I've lobbed a thorny business or casino design question at him.

Ms. Dunne did not know what Andrew's post-Wynn plans are.






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Comments & Discussion:

Strange, but rich people don't make a lot of sense to begin with. More disturbing is the next headline coming from this 8K:

Breaking News: Stray Harrahs Executive seen walking around Wynncore...

My guess... He wasn't hired away. I'm not saying he might not pop up else where, but I get the feeling he didn't just resign and move off to bigger and better things. Since Wynn already hired his replacement, he didn't just walk in and resign today.

I'm suprised that Wynn did not promote from within on this. Marilyn Winn has a good reputation, but it is a big jump up from Harrah's.

I'm sure that some folks like Oseland are a little peeved they were passed over.

I'd be surprised of Pascal isn't contractually prohibited from working in the casino biz until 2012. That'd be about the right time for him to join with Alex Yemendjian at MGM and become president of the new CityCenter/Bellagio division of MGM Resorts International.

wonder if she'll pile all the non-resort fee money up and put out another no resort fee contest, oh wait, nevermind.

@parchedearth,
ditto on both points, and it's and especially odd that his replacement only had responsibility for the two connected properties, mid-tier ones at that (Bally's/Paris -- PH only being folded in quite recently) and was not someone higher up the ladder. And Harrahs? No former Wynnsters from MGM wanted/were available to come over?

I'm increasingly a "big picture" kind of guy so this adds onto the Drai/Waits departures and Palmsification of Encore to make me ever so slightly concerned for the company's long-term direction.

...not to mention also the divorce and whatever distractions that brings to the table, effect on the Board and The Steve's focus. Is not his slice of the pie now that much smaller?

His leaving had been a rumor for quite some time. Auntie Elaine bought a hotel in Beverly Hills. ?

While there are several reasonable scenarios for his departure, I really have to agree with parchedearth and motoman regading the "outside hire" of his successor. On a variety of levels that is disconcerting to one who has always held the brand in high respect. And HET; not so much.

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