Appointee is acting CEO of Affinity Gaming
The board of directors of Caesars Entertainment Corporation has named Anthony Rodio as the company’s new CEO. Rodio is the acting CEO of Affinity Gaming. The process for him to become the Caesars CEO will take place over the coming 30 days or so.
Rodio will now be on the board of directors, based in Las Vegas. A new transaction committee is being created to oversee the company’s continuing efforts to increase value for its shareholders.
The chairman of the board of directors, James Hunt, said: “Tony brings to Caesars a track record of operational excellence, proven leadership, and deep industry knowledge and expertise. Tony is a respected and highly accomplished executive who has successfully built and grown businesses in our industry throughout his career. We are confident that Tony has the vision and depth of operating experience to lead our talented senior management team as Caesars continues its long history of delighting our guests, fostering a welcoming and rewarding workplace for our team members and creating value for shareholders and other stakeholders. Our entire Board looks forward to his leadership in evaluating and executing the Company’s go-forward plans.”
Rodio commented: “I have long admired Caesars and am optimistic about the company’s future prospects. Our industry is going through a time of transition and opportunity and I look forward to leading Caesars’ exceptional team through the company’s next phase of growth, innovation and value creation.”
Who is Anthony Rodio?
Rodio has been working in the gaming industry for more than 40 years. He has been the acting CEO of Affinity Gaming since October 2018. Previously, he held a number of positions in Tropicana Entertainment, including CEO, president, and member of the board of directors.
In this time, the company saw significant growth and improvements in its financial results. Over half of the improvements came from expansion and operational changes.
He was involved in a number of major projects, such as renovations of the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City. Before Tropicana, Rodio worked for Hollywood Casino and Harrah’s Entertainment.
One of his main tasks as the new CEO of Caesars Entertainment will be to reduce the substantial corporate costs. This will involve cutting the numbers of corporate workers, which could save as much as $40m (£30.7m) a year.
Future of Caesars Entertainment
Changes abound at Caesars Entertainment. Well-known Wall Street investor Carl Icahn has been making moves to take control of the company. He is now the largest shareholder, with a stake of more than 28% of the entire company. He gradually bought more and more of a holding beginning in February.
Icahn controls three of the board positions and he had set a deadline for the appointment of a new CEO that has his approval.
The deadline was April 15. Icahn was going to appoint another person to the board of directors if the deadline was not met. The current CEO is Mark Frissora, who will be leaving the position on April 30.
Since Icahn’s interest in the company went public, there has been a significant increase in the share price of Caesars Entertainment.
There are rumors that Icahn is getting ready to sell the company. It appears that there are two prominent potential buyers. One is Tilman Fertitta, a billionaire who owns the Golden Nugget Casino franchise and the Houston Rockets NBA team. According to reports, he was given the chance to conduct due diligence by Caesars.
Fertitta was trying to hold merger talks in 2018 with Caesars but was not successful. He is clearly still interested. The other potential buyer is Eldorado Resorts, which has more than 25 gaming properties across the United States.