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Parrott Named Shuffle Master CEO

Table game supplier Shuffle Master, Inc. announced that Tim Parrott, former president and CEO of slot-maker Aristocrat Technologies, will succeed Mark Yoseloff as the company’s CEO.

Yoseloff, who stepped down from his CEO position in September 2007, has helped in the 18-month executive search. He will remain at the company part-time to assist Parrott during a transition period. He headed Shuffle Master for 12 years.

Parrott, a 20-year gaming industry veteran, headed Aristocrat Technologies (the U.S. subsidiary of Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure Ltd.) for less than two years-a difficult period in which sluggish U.S. sales caused the slot-maker’s stock price to plunge.

Prior to Aristocrat, Parrott was chairman and CEO of casino operator Boomtown, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Entertainment since 1998.

“Given his proven track record of success and deep gaming expertise, I believe Tim is the clear choice for the future leadership needs of our company,” Yoseloff said in a statement.

Parrott takes over Shuffle Master at a time when the company’s struggles are not unlike those of Aristocrat. Thanks to the global economic crisis, flat sales have caused the company’s stock to go from a high of $10.24 to $2.50.

Initial analyst reaction to Parrott’s selection has been positive. Steven Wieczynski of Stifel Nicolaus & Co. predicted in a note to investors that Parrott will oversee a rebound in Shuffle Master’s stock, setting a $7 price target and reaffirming his “Buy” recommendation.

“We continue to believe that the worst is behind Shuffle Master and while this turnaround story will take time to play out, we believe the shares have either found a bottom or are close to it,” Wieczynski wrote.

Shuffle Master also announced that Chris Philibbosian will step down as a director of the company, effective immediately, to devote more time to SAAK Management, the company he created last year.

“We are disappointed to lose Chris’ contributions to our board; however, we understand and respect his need to devote time to SAAK Management and wish him continued success in the future,” board chairman Philip Peckman said in a statement.

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