The new faces of CWN Crown know how to handle

Barely two weeks have passed since the American investment group Blackstone took control of Crown Resorts, but it is already remaking James Packer’s casino operator in its image.

With Ziggy Switkowski’s board removed last month, Blackstone has appointed one of its veteran casino executives, Bill McBeath, to take over as chairman.

McBeath had just resigned as chief executive of another Blackstone venture – The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas – after being handed over to new owners in one of the most profitable deals in the history of the investment group. This was reflected in the US$5,000 ($7,300) bonus awarded to each of the casino’s 5,400 employees.

Crown Resorts’ new CEO, Ciaran Carruthers, has had a long career in Macau and family roots in Australia.

On Thursday, Crown announced that the executive who parachuted in last year to turn around the group’s fortunes, former Lend Lease CEO Steve McCann, will be replaced in September by casino veteran Ciarán Carruthers, who straddles two geographic areas important to Crown.

Carruthers is currently chief operating officer of Wynn Macau Resort, one of many positions he has held in Macau over the past 20 years. This will give him insight into the Chinese tourists who will always be critical to Crown’s success.

The only break Carruthers took from Macau was to set up a gaming consultancy in 2009 when he returned to Australia to spend more time with his Adelaide-based family. Carruthers, born in Dublin, has permanent residency in Australia.

His new job, which will be based in Melbourne, will bring Carruthers a lot closer to home.

Other executives are expected to be announced to run Crown’s flagship casino in Melbourne and the Perth operation, but the key people are in place with McBeath and Carruthers.

New York-based Blackstone has considerable experience with casinos and hotels.  In Las Vegas, he recently owned The Cosmopolitan, he also owns the real estate assets of the MGM Grand, MGM Mandalay Bay and Bellagio resorts.

New York-based Blackstone has considerable experience with casinos and hotels. In Las Vegas, he recently owned The Cosmopolitan, he also owns the real estate assets of the MGM Grand, MGM Mandalay Bay and Bellagio resorts.Credit:PA

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