Casino operator Penn National Gaming announced that executive vice president and chief financial officer David Williams stepped down from his role as of December 31, 2020, and will be replaced by Felicia Hendrix, who will join the company on March 2 this year.
Williams joined the operator as CFO in January 2020 from Apple, where he served as CFO of Claris, the technology giant’s B2B software subsidiary formally known as FileMaker.
Williams has agreed to stay with the operator in a temporary advisory role to help ensure a smooth transition.
“To say my relatively brief tenure at Penn National was a roller coaster ride would be an understatement,” he said of his departure.
“We went from the excitement of announcing our new partnership with Barstool Sports to the temporary shutdown of all of our operating assets in my first two months on the job,” Williams continued. “I am very proud of the way our company responded to the unprecedented challenges the pandemic presented, and the role I played in helping to raise more than $1 billion in new equity to be able to weather the storm.”
He cited the challenges of working remotely from the West Coast and the potential strain of relocating his family during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as the reasons which led to his decision to stand down.
Jay Snowden, president and chief executive of Penn National, commented: “I want to express my sincere appreciation to Dave for his dedication and support of our company over the past year.
“He was quickly thrown into the fire, and I’m grateful for the way he stepped up and helped us navigate our way through the shutdowns of our casinos, ensuing companywide furloughs, and successful capital raises. We wish him all the very best in his future pursuits.”
“Fortunately, we have someone of Felicia’s caliber and exhaustive experience on Wall Street as an equity research analyst – who happens to have covered Penn for the last two decades – to step in as our new CFO,” he added.
Hendrix holds over 20 years’ experience as an equity research analyst covering the gaming, lodging and leisure industries, and her most recent role saw her act as managing director and equity research analyst at Barclays. Prior to that role, she was a managing director at Lehman Brothers.
Hendrix’s coverage spanned companies with market caps ranging from $2.5bnto $45bn and comprised different revenue bases, cost structures, leverage levels and management depth, allowing her to bring a unique perspective to Penn National, the operator said.
“I have long admired Felicia and her deep knowledge of the gaming industry, impressive work ethic, sharp wit and attention to detail,” Snowden said of the business’ new CFO.
“I’m confident she’ll be able to hit the ground running in her new role, and we couldn’t be happier to have her officially join our Penn National Gaming family.”