Wynn Resorts Named ‘Most Admired’ Company by Fortune Three Years After Steve Wynn Scandal

Posted on: February 3, 2021, 01:17h. 

Last updated on: February 3, 2021, 02:01h.

Wynn Resorts has been named by Fortune as one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” for 2021. The distinction comes just three years after the casino company’s namesake founder was accused of using his power for decades to take advantage of female staffers in sexual ways.

Wynn Resorts Maddox Most Admired Fortune
Matt Maddox, seen here last April at a White House roundtable discussing COVID-19 impacts on the hospitality industries with then-President Donald Trump, has led Wynn Resort out of its darkest days. The casino giant has been identified by Fortune as one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies.” (Image: Getty)

Wynn Resorts is one of three casino operators to make the Fortune list. The others are Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts. Fortune says its “World’s Most Admired Companies” list is a ranking of corporate reputation.

Sands ranked the highest of the three. Wynn came in second, and MGM third. While Wynn was also identified on the 2020 Fortune list, its grades fared much better in 2021, resulting in it jumping MGM.

Fortune compiled the list by starting with the 1,000 largest US companies in terms of revenue, plus international companies in the Fortune Global 500 database. Fortune winnowed the number down to 670 companies, based on the highest-revenue companies in each industry.

From there, executives, directors, and analysts were asked to rate companies based on various criteria, including people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, and financial soundness.

Firms that scored highest within their industry were included in the list, which totaled 332 companies for 2021.

Wynn Overhaul

In January of 2018, The Wall Street Journal published what would become a career-ending exposé on Steve Wynn. The report detailed decades of alleged sexual misconduct committed by the casino billionaire tycoon.

Wynn maintains to this day that he never acted inappropriately, but has since sold his stake in the casino firm and no longer has any association with the organization. Wynn’s longtime protégé, Matt Maddox, assumed the role of CEO in February of 2018.

Wynn Resorts overhauled its board to include more women and took drastic steps to change its culture. Steve Wynn’s signature still graces the company’s casinos in Las Vegas and Macau, but Maddox says Wynn Resorts is much different today than it was under his mentor’s leadership.

People were in shock, including me,” Maddox told The Financial Times this week of the sexual misconduct allegations. “Employees were terrified, activists were coming after us, people were making bids. It was unclear if we were going to keep our licenses.

“The only way for us [Wynn Resorts] to survive was to take fast action,” Maddox explained.

Along with bringing more women to the company’s board, Wynn Resorts required all employees to undergo training to prevent sexual harassment. The company also formed an independent committee that now reviews any complaints free of management influence.

HR Scores Improve

Fortune’s grading of Wynn Resorts in 2021 shows the company’s efforts to change its culture are paying off in key areas. Wynn’s score improved in “people management,” “quality of management,” and “use of corporate assets.”

Sands and MGM have been longtime mainstays on the Fortune admiration catalog. Each attribute is graded 1 (excellent) to 10 (poor).

Attribute                                     Sands        MGM      Wynn

Innovation                                      6               5              2      

People Management                     4               8              5

Use Corp. Assets                          3               8              6

Social Responsibility                     4               5              5

Quality of Mgmt.                            5               8              6

Financial Soundness                     3               9              5

Long-Term Inv. Value                    3               8              5

Quality of Product/Service             5               6              1

Global Competitiveness               4                6                5

Average:                                        4.1              7                5