The Board of Directors of Wynn Resorts announced Wednesday that it has expanded its board to 11 members, with the appointment of Betsy Atkins, Dee Dee Myers and Wendy Webb as independent directors, effective immediately.
All three new appointments are women, which the company pointed to as making more progress against its recent sexual misconduct allegations that ousted its former CEO Steve Wynn. Two of the new directors have connections to Massachusetts.
The Board approved the new directors at a previously scheduled meeting in-person in Las Vegas on April 17.
The appointments, which were made after a lengthy search by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee with the assistance of a search firm, involved interviews of solely independent candidates and advances the Company’s commitment to diversify the gender, skills and experience of the Board. These independent directors strengthen the Board’s expertise in corporate governance, communications and public affairs, technology, strategic positioning, hospitality and branding.
The Wynn Resorts Board now comprises 36 percent women, bringing Wynn into the top 40 S&P 500 companies in terms of female board representation.
“We are pleased to welcome Betsy, Dee Dee and Wendy to the Wynn Resorts Board of Directors following a thorough search process that included input from shareholders and an independent executive search firm,” said D. Boone Wayson, Chairman of the Wynn Resorts Board of Directors. “We are confident that their extensive and wide-ranging expertise will provide fresh and valuable perspectives to support the Company’s leadership team and business strategy.
“To be clear, this is the first step in our effort to refresh the Board.” said Wayson. “We intend to add additional new directors in the coming months. The Board is committed to enhancing value for our shareholders, delivering superior experiences for customers and creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all of the Company’s employees.”
Matt Maddox, CEO of Wynn Resorts, said, “I am thrilled to welcome these highly qualified independent directors to our Board. We have made it a priority to implement meaningful change at Wynn Resorts and are committed to elevating our corporate governance practices and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. In addition to strengthening our Board, these appointments make Wynn a global leader in board diversity.”
Maddox continued, “These appointments signify a turning point for us, and I look forward to working with each of our new directors as we usher in a new era at Wynn.”
The new additions to the Board and resulting change in board composition are part of a series of significant strategic changes made by the Company. As previously announced, the Board has launched an internal investigation, led by a third-party law firm, into the Company’s awareness and response to allegations regarding its former CEO, Steve Wynn. Other recent significant actions to improve the workplace environment and further stabilize Wynn initiated by the Board and Maddox include:
- The separation of Steve Wynn from all company operations and the sale of all of Mr. Wynn’s stock in the Company, including 8 million shares to two long-term institutional investors.
- Settling six years of litigation with Universal Entertainment for $2.4 billion, an effective redemption price of $78 per Company share.
- Raising $927 million through the sale of 5.3 million shares in Wynn Resorts to Galaxy Entertainment Group, Macau.
- The resolution of litigation filed in 2012 by former Board Member Elaine Wynn, thereby finally resolving all claims in that litigation with no payment by Wynn Resorts.
- The creation of a new department within the Company to focus on gender equality, diversity, fair treatment and female leadership.
- The launch of new employee benefits, such as paid parental leave – making Wynn the first casino resort company to do so in Las Vegas.
The Company and all new board members will promptly comply with all regulatory requirements.
Betsy Atkins is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, and Wendy Webb is a graduate of Smith College and Harvard University.