SkyCity Reveals Three New Board Directors

skycity entertainment 3 new execs

SkyCity Entertainment has announced it will appoint three new independent directors to its board.

The NZ Herald reports that corporate lawyer Silvana Schenone, outgoing Summerset chief executive Julian Cook and former Star Entertainment chief financial officer Chad Barton will be appointed.

The appointments follow the sudden retirement of Adelaide-based deputy chair Bruce Carter in late March and several key personnel in 2020.

In November 2020, former chief executive officer Graham Stephens, former chief financial officer Rob Hamilton and former chief marketing officer Liza McNally all announced resignations on the same day.

The three appointments are subject to approval by regulatory authorities in each of the gaming jurisdictions in which SkyCity operates, a process which normally takes some months to conclude, the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, they will each be available to assist the SkyCity board in an advisory capacity.

Chairman Rob Campbell said the three will bring considerable expertise and diversity, both individually and collectively, to the board “in terms of their backgrounds and thinking”.

Schenone is a corporate partner at MinterEllisonRuddWatts in Auckland, where she leads the firm’s Corporate division.

She has expertise in mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, takeovers, scheme of arrangements, capital raisings and corporate governance matters.

Prior to joining the firm in 2007, Schenone was a corporate lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York.

Cook became chief executive officer of Summerset in 2014 after overseeing the company’s sharemarket listing as chief financial officer.

Prior to that, he was an associate director at Macquarie Group, where he was involved in the energy, industrial services, tourism and aged care sectors over a 12-year career.

Barton has been chief executive officer of ASX-listed companies the Star Entertainment Group from 2014 to 2019 and Salmt Limited from 2009 to 2014.

Before those roles, he was chief financial officer of the Australia and New Zealand business of Electronic Data Systems from 2006 to 2009.

Longstanding SkyCity director retires

SkyCity Entertainment has advised that director Bruce Carter has retired from its board, effective March 20, 2021.

Market Screener reported in late March that Mr Carter joined SkyCity in October 2010 and was appointed deputy board chair in August 2011 and chair of the board’s audit and risk committee in October 2012.

In recent years, he oversaw the company’s A$330 million expansion development at SkyCity Adelaide, which opened in December 2020, as chair of the board’s Adelaide development sub committee.

The SkyCity board and management team thanked Mr Carter for his valuable contribution to SkyCity.

The SkyCity board has had a non-executive director recruitment process underway for some time and will replace Mr Carter as part of this process.

SkyCity unveils three new executives

Three new executives have joined the SkyCity Entertainment team in New Zealand.

Gambling Insider reported in January that Callum Mallett is to be appointed as chief operating officer New Zealand, in charge of the New Zealand businesses day-to-day operations of SkyCity Auckland.

Mallett currently holds the position of executive general manager hospitality at the Auckland venue.

The current general manager of SkyCity Adelaide David Christian will hold the position of chief operating officer Australia.

He will lead the Adelaide property that recently unveiled its A$330 million expansion, including the Eos by SkyCity hotel and refurbished facilities of Adelaide Railway Station.

Executive general manager gaming Matthew Ballesty has been appointed chief casino officer.

He will manage the casino operations at SkyCity Auckland, as well as provide strategic direction on all gaming products across the SkyCity Entertainment Group.

The three internal appointments to the senior management team will take effect from February 1.

Chief executive officer of SkyCity Michael Ahearne said he thoroughly reviewed the lineup before final approval.

The new additions are set to replace the management that left the company at the end of last year.

Back in November, former chief executive officer Graeme Stephens announced his leave; chief financial officer Rob Hamilton and chief managing officer Liza McNally also announced they stepped down from their roles at the same time.

William Brown

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