Elaine Wynn Vows Board Shake Up at Wynn Resorts, Expect Heads to Roll

Posted on: April 18, 2018, 07:14h. 

Last updated on: April 18, 2018, 07:14h.

Wynn Resorts’ biggest shareholder, Elaine Wynn ,wants an immediate shake up of the board that once backed a resolution, led by her ex-husband, Steve Wynn, to oust her.

Elaine Wynn wants Wynn Resorts shake-up
Elaine Wynn says she believes the Wynn Resorts board needs to be “reconstituted immediately” with new blood that has no loyalty to either her or her ex-husband, Steve Wynn. (Image: Associated Press)

The day after Ms. Wynn settled a longstanding legal battle with the company and her former spouse, she wrote to the board demanding it reopen the window for shareholders to schedule new business and nominate new directors.

In a letter filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, she suggested a 60-day reinstatement of the nomination process “to allow a fully vetted nomination process to occur” in time for the company’s forthcoming AGM.

Ms. Wynn said she does not intend to seek a board position herself but believes sweeping changes to the corporate structure are needed. She would nominate fresh blood that was independent of her, the company, and Steve Wynn in order to “restore the company’s reputation,” she added.

Steve Wynn Steps Down

I believe that the company’s governance structure needs to be reformed and that the board of directors needs to be reconstituted,” she wrote. “This should be done immediately and certainly before any material decisions are made that could affect the long-term interests of the shareholders.”

Ms. Wynn became Wynn Resort’s largest shareholder, with 9.25 percent, after her ex-husband sold his equity in the company last month to protect its gaming licenses from an escalating sexual misconduct scandal. Lawsuits from disgruntled shareholders have been mounting, claiming the board must have known about its former chairman and CEO’s alleged behavior but failed in its duty to protect the company.

“The nominees would be highly respected and, in most cases, have significant public company experience,” wrote Ms. Wynn. “They would have the requisite expertise and experience to help the company address both its opportunities and challenges. The nominees would help the board conform to current best practices with respect to diversity and would be selected with a view to applicable licensing requirements.”

Hold Off on Boston

Ms. Wynn, a Wynn Resorts co-founder, was ousted from the board in 2015 because she had filed suit against the company in an effort to retain control of her shares. A 2010 shareholder agreement, drawn up as part of the Wynns’ divorce settlement, had frozen both parties’ ability to sell their shares. The agreement was revoked by a judge to allow Mr. Wynn to divest himself of his equity last month.

Ms. Wynn said she wanted a new board before any major decisions could be made about possible transactions.

“I raise this because of various market rumors and the Bloomberg headline of April 13 reading ‘Wynn Resorts CEO Maddox Says Boston Casino Sale Possible,’” her letter said

The board is rumored to be in talks with MGM about a possible sale of the unfinished Wynn Boston Harbor in Everett, Massachusetts.