NagaCorp Founder Appoints Three Sons Co-CEOs, Takes Title of Senior CEO

Posted on: April 6, 2022, 05:48h. 

Last updated on: April 6, 2022, 11:40h.

The founder and current CEO of gaming operator NagaCorp has decided it’s time to relinquish some of his control. Dr. Chen Lip Keong boosted three of his sons’ positions with the company, making all three co-CEOs.

Dr. Chen Lip Keong
Dr. Chen Lip Keong, the founder and CEO of gaming operator NagaCorp. He just received an auto-promotion to Senior CEO while appointing three of his sons co-CEOs. (Image: Global Gaming Business)

NagaCorp has had a rough year or so. Its casino operations suffered because of COVID-19. This led to a reduction in the workforce at its NagaWorld resort in Cambodia. That, in turn, led to a workers’ strike that is still causing issues today.

This year didn’t start any better, with NagaCorp recently reporting a 13.7% decline in its gross gaming revenue (GGR). Its founder and CEO, Dr. Chen Lip Keong, now feels it’s time to shake things up on the top floor to reinvigorate the company.

To make the changes, Chen, who is on Forbes’ latest 36th annual World’s Billionaires List, didn’t look too far from home. He appointed three of his sons co-CEOs of the company while giving himself the title of Senior CEO. A fourth son, Managing Director in the CEO Cabinet Chen Yepern, will continue to oversee the company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) programs.

NagaCorp Gets Three CEOs

How much control the newly-appointed executives will have is unclear. Chen will still run the daily operation of the business, according to NagaCorp.

Moving forward into its next phase, NagaCorp will see Executive Director Chen Yiy Fon become CEO – of Operations. Additionally, Chen Cherchi will carry the title CEO – Finance and Treasury, and Chen Yiy Hwuan will add CEO – Hotels to his business card.

The shuffle includes several other high-level changes, as well. The company’s current Director of Capital Investment and Corporate Finance, Anthony Cheung King Man, is now CFO. He replaces CFO Tan Sean Czoon, who will now be the CFO – Founder’s Office.

Three others will remain where they are. Timothy McNally will still be the chairman, Philip Lee Wai Tuck will continue as the Executive Deputy Chairman and Mike Ngai Wai Yip will retain the title of NagaCorp’s chief operating officer.

Struggling to Find Balance

NagaCorp, which recently announced it would no longer pursue an integrated resort in Russia’s Far East, is trying to find solid ground. Its GGR in the first three months of the year registered a significant year-on-year drop but was still better than the fourth quarter of 2021.

The company saw a massive drop in VIP traffic, with the segment providing revenue of US$4.3 million. That is a year-on-year decline of 93.1%.

However, mass table GGR, $51.6 million, increased by 73.5% over the first quarter of last year. Premium mass added 53.3%, reaching US$28.8 million. The EGM (electronic gaming machine) segment recorded a boost in GGR of 64.1%, as it closed at US$25.2 million.

As a result of the stronger performances, NagaCorp’s average daily net gaming revenue increased by 52.5% over the last quarter of 2021. The figure reached US$572,000, with EGMs and premium mass adding US$280,000 and US$212,000, respectively. Both of those were improvements of around 15%-16%.

Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) increased significantly. It climbed 83.3% from the fourth quarter of 2021 to US$60.5 million.

All of the improvements resulted from “prudent cash expenditures” and the “continued recovery” of business operations. However, it probably won’t be enough for NagaCorp to decide to settle its differences with its workers.