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MGM names Hornbuckle permanent CEO


MGM Resorts International has named Bill Hornbuckle, its current acting chief executive and president, to those roles on a permanent basis, as well as to its board of directors.

Hornbuckle took over as acting chief executive when Jim Murren stepped down following the publication of the operator’s 2019 results, in which revenue increased 9.6% to $12.90bn, while profits were buoyed by the sale of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. 

Murren had been MGM’s chief executive since 2008, having worked for the business since 1998.

Hornbuckle (pictured) joined MGM’s executive team as chief marketing officer in 2009 before becoming chief operating officer in 2012. Before this, Hornbuckle was chief operating officer of its Mandalay Bay casino and he had previously held the same role for MGM Resorts’ European operations as well as other casinos including MGM Grand, Caesars Palace and Golden Nugget Laughlin.

Bill Hornbuckle

Paul Salem, chairman of MGM’s board of directors, said the decision followed a national search.

“After a thorough national search, the board unanimously concluded that Bill is the best candidate to lead MGM Resorts through these immensely challenging times and into a more promising future,” Salem said. “There are few tests of leadership greater than what Bill has faced. 

“His seasoned global experience, depth of knowledge and steady hand have provided reassurance and confidence to our employees, partners, guests and shareholders during one of the most difficult periods in the history of our company. He has fully earned the opportunity before him.”

Hornbuckle said he is ready to lead the business through its recovery from the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. In the first quarter of 2019, MGM Resorts’ revenue fell 29.1% to $2.25bn, mostly due to a 63.0% drop in revenue in Macau.

“I am honored to lead this company as we look toward long-term recovery, future growth and opportunity,” Hornbuckle said. “In doing so, I am especially mindful of the thousands of MGM Resorts employees who have been profoundly impacted by the current circumstances. Their dedication to the company’s mission and safety allows guests from around the world to experience moments of happiness and hospitality amid uncertain times. 

“I am here today presented with this leadership role due to the tremendous accomplishments, passion and courage of our people. While we will continue to operate in this new normal for the near term, fundamentally I am incredibly optimistic about the future of our company and our industry.  We will remain focused on taking care of our guests and each other as we look toward our best days ahead.”

During Hornbuckle’s time as acting chief executive, MGM reopened its Las Vegas casinos, in line with measures set out by Governor Steve Sisolak. In addition, Roar Digital, its joint venture with GVC Holdings received an additional $250m in funding from shareholders to bring its overall funding to $450m.