Casino operator MGM Resorts International has appointed Bill Hornbuckle as acting chief executive and also named Paul Salem as the new chairman of its board.
Hornbuckle will replace Jim Murren, who last month announced that he was to step down from the role, bringing to an end almost 12 years in charge of the operator.
Murren had agreed to remain in the role until a successor was appointed, but has now left MGM to provide continuity of leadership, in light of the ongoing situation with the global novel coronavirus pandemic.
Hornbuckle previously served as chief operating officer of MGM and is currently an executive committee member and a board of director of MGM China Holdings.
Earlier in his four-decade gambling career, Hornbuckle served as chief marketing officer of MGM Resorts International and also had a spell as president and chief operating officer of MGM Resorts International-Europe.
“We have an incredible challenge ahead; we have a talented leadership team, the best employees in the world, and a loyal customer base,” Hornbuckle said. “I have every confidence that MGM Resorts will remain the global entertainment leader once this crisis is contained and it is safe to operate.”
The outgoing Murren added: “I fully support accelerating the planned leadership transition to help MGM Resorts address the rapidly changing environment. I have great confidence in Bill and the management team to lead MGM Resorts at this critical juncture, as we have together through numerous hardships of the past.
“I will continue to dedicate my efforts to help during this uncertain time, and I will be assisting the State of Nevada in its crisis response and recovery efforts.”
Salem, who also replaces Murren in the role of chairman, is currently a member of the MGM Resorts board of directors and chair of the real estate committee of MGM Resorts.
A senior managing director at private equity firm Providence Equity Partners for the past 27 years, Salem previously served as a director on many of Providence’s portfolio companies such as Asurion, Eircom, Grupo TorreSur, Madison River Telecom, MetroNet, PanAmSat, Tele1 Europe, Verio and Wired Magazine.
Salem said: “The nation is facing an unprecedented crisis, causing the travel and hospitality industry to grind to a near halt. It is clear that once the threat to the public health has subsided and we are ready to reopen our resorts and casinos, it will take an incredible effort to ramp back up.
“We believe continued steady, skilled leadership is needed in this time of great upheaval and uncertainty. Bill is one of the most experienced operators in the business and we have confidence in his ability to bring this company back online.”