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Murren Exits MGM

Murren Exits MGM

James Murren, MGM Resorts International’s chairman and CEO, announced in February that he would be stepping down after 22 years with the company, 12 of them as its leader. During his tenure with MGM, Murren oversaw the development of CityCenter in Las Vegas, MGM Cotai in Macau, MGM National Harbor in Maryland, and MGM Springfield in Massachusetts.

As a reward for leaving, Murren’s exit package will total around $32 million, including a $2 million salary, $4 million in bonuses, a $7 million “equity award” and a $12 million severance payment. He’ll also receive $575,000 a month next year for providing consulting services to the company.

Like all companies with a presence in Asia—and most gaming companies in general—MGM Resorts has taken a hit in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus.

But 2019 proved a good year overall for MGM. Company stock has climbed around 17 percent, as Murren’s management team responded energetically to increasing pressure from activist investors, launching a program of massive corporate-wide cost cuts, which was expected to boost EBITDA by $300 million through 2021.

MGM also sold most of its remaining resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, in a series of deals expected to net the company more than $8 billion in cash—funds management will use to continue to buy back stock, pay down some of its $15 billion of debt, and pursue a mega-resort in Japan.

Murren will remain with the company until a successor is found, and will then remain as a consultant for the rest of 2021.