Jim Murren announced on Sunday night that he is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer of MGM Resorts International effective immediately. Murren had previously announced six weeks ago that he would be stepping down soon, but this move came much quicker than most expected.
The move comes after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak tasked Murren with leading a COVID-19 task force in an effort to stop the coronavirus crisis.
Governor Sisolak announced Sunday afternoon that he chose Murren with leading the COVID-19 Response, Relief, and Recovery Task Force. Murren’s main responsibility as of now will be to help the state of Nevada collect COVID-19 test kits as well as find a way to purchase more personal protection equipment.
Even though leading this task force is much different than being CEO of MGM Resorts International, Murren has plenty of attributes that make him the perfect man for the job.
Murren was recently in a Washington, D.C., meeting with President Donald Trump and other government leaders. Governor Sisolak noted that Murren’s knowledge of the gaming industry in Vegas, and his knowledge of how the labor force works.
As part of the announcement from Governor Sisolak, he made it clear that Murren will not be paid for this new role.
Not everyone in the state of Las Vegas was happy with this choice by Governor Sisolak. Other government officials recognized that a task force needed to be put in place, but choosing Murren to lead the task force came as a big surprise.
MGM Resorts International has been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus pandemic in Las Vegas as well as in other states around the country.
The entire casino, gaming, and hotel industry in the state of Nevada has been shut down by Governor Sisolak for a minimum of 30 days. Some companies, such as MGM Resorts International, had elected to close their doors before the official announcement came from their government leader.
The casino industry in Las Vegas is one of the leading sources of income for the entire state, and Murren will try to help find a way for the state to get through the financial burden that now persists. Most companies have decided to continue paying their employees throughout the mandated shutdown, while others are yet to decide.
Hornbuckle to Take Over at MGM
MGM Resorts International has been preparing for Murren’s departure for a few weeks, and they were able to implement a plan as soon as they got the resignation. Bill Hornbuckle was chosen to take over as the acting CEO of the sports betting giant.
Paul Salem will step into Hornbuckle’s old position as chairman of MGM Resorts International Board of Directors.
Hornbuckle has been preparing to take over as CEO of MGM Resorts International over the last few weeks, and he has plenty of experience in the gaming industry. He graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and has been in the gaming industry in some capacity for over 40 years.
Most of his career was spent in various leadership roles with Caesars Entertainment.
MGM Resorts International is one of the biggest hospitality and entertainment companies in the United States, and they have a strong presence in the city of Las Vegas. MGM Resorts International owns and operates iconic Vegas properties such as the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, and the MGM Grand.
They also have resorts in Michigan, Maryland, and New Jersey, and all of those properties are currently shut down as well amid the coronavirus pandemic. Hornbuckle and Salem will be tasked with helping the company find a way through the financial crisis that awaits.