Crown Resorts Continues Corporate Makeover Amid Investigation

Posted on: November 5, 2021, 11:32h. 

Last updated on: November 9, 2021, 10:30h.

Amid acknowledgments of “significant cultural weakness” during ongoing hearings about Crown’s suitability as an operator, the company announced a new Chief Corporate Affairs and Brand Officer.

Crown, resorts, Australia, Melbourne
Crown Resorts’ Melbourne casino, seen above, is one of several properties that are under investigation by financial and gaming regulators across the country (Image: Bloomberg)

The first person to fill the role will be Danielle Keighery, soon to be the former chief customer officer at Australia’s Bank of Queensland.

In an announcement from Thursday, Crown stated that it had created the position, and recruited Keighery, in order to “align its corporate affairs, public relations, government relations, brand, sponsorship, media and all corporate communications functions.”

Keighery has been with the Bank of Queensland for over a decade, having served as its face of customer service for the last year and a half.

Prior to joining the financial institution, Keighery was the head of corporate affairs and marketing for Virgin’s operations in Australia for about six years. Crown CEO Steve McCann, who joined the company in May, said her appointment is an “important step in enhancing the way Crown communicates with stakeholders.”

Keighery joins Crown not long after it began to really reinvent itself. It has an almost completely new board of directors that includes a new chair in Ziggy Switkowski and a new CEO in McCann. That’s in addition to a new chief compliance and financial crime officer, group general counsel, chief people & culture officer, and executive general manager of transformation and regulatory response.

Crown Still Under Fire Across Australia

Crown is still under investigation in Western Australia, where it operates Crown Perth.

As that hearing continues, one individual has testified that it typically takes more than two years for significant results to be realized.

Victoria Whitaker of Deloitte indicated that it typically takes “about three to five years to see material, sustained cultural change in an organization of Crown’s size,” according to local media outlet

The comments were in response to questions about certain business practices that had been revealed in an internal Crown survey conducted with employees. However, if the minimum for cultural changes to occur at a large company is three years, it seems like complying with Victoria’s two-year requirement may be untenable. Whitaker acknowledged that the results of the survey indicated a “significant cultural weakness” within Crown.

Western Australia’s decision on the Crown’s future won’t be revealed until sometime in the first half of 2022.

Crown Found Not Suitable for License

Crown has already been found inadequate to hold a casino license in New South Wales (NSW) because of repeated, and often egregious, violations of financial and gaming regulations.

Victoria also determined that Crown is unworthy in the state, but decided to be a little more lenient. It gave Crown two years to clean up its operations. However, if the Victoria government stands firm and doesn’t redraw the line, some believe there’s no way Crown can comply.

Crown Resorts continues to reel from ongoing investigations across the country that threaten its future. Complete C-level overhauls are designed to undo years of damage. But there’s growing concern that it might be too late.