Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox Announces Surprise Departure After 168% Rise in Q3 Revenue

  • Wynn CEO Maddox will leave in Jan 2022, despite reporting a 168% y-o-y rise in Q3 revenue
  • Maddox has led Wynn through the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw revenue drop 68% in 2020
  • Wynn has recovered since then, with Q3 seeing record adjusted property EBITDA for US venues 
  • The operator’s founder Steve Wynn evaded a lawsuit last month, filed by a former employee 
Businessman packing his things in office
As CEO, Matt Maddox has guided Wynn Resorts through its COVID-19 recovery, and he has now announced he will step down from the role in January. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Leaving on the up

Everyone wants to go out at the top of their game, and it seems Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox is making a go of doing just that. The chief executive announced his intention to leave the company shortly after an earnings call reporting an increase of 168% in Q3 revenue year-on-year.

Wynn saw revenue of $994.6m for the third quarter

Of course, that figure is impacted heavily by the company’s poor 2020 performance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, Wynn saw revenue of $994.6m for the third quarter of 2021. Net loss still amounted to $166.2m, however, with adjusted property EBITDA at $154.6m.

Shortly after that Tuesday report, a Wynn press release revealed Maddox will step down from his role on January 31, 2022, remaining on the company’s board through to the end of that year. Meanwhile, Craig Billings, the current chief executive of Wynn Interactive, will take up the Wynn Resorts CEO position on February 1, 2022.

In a statement, Maddox asserted that the decision to exit was not an easy one. “I’m leaving a company that I love and that’s full of people I admire,” he commented. “But I believe now is the right time for me and for the business.”

A difficult four years

Matt Maddox has worked for Wynn Resorts for two decades. He gained the role of CEO in February 2018 after founder Steve Wynn resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations. In Tuesday’s statement, Maddox described his four years in charge as “challenging but extremely rewarding.”

The press release noted that Maddox led the business through its “most difficult period,” including the global pandemic in 2020. In Q4 last year, Wynn reported full-year revenue of $2.1bn. That represented a drop of $2.1bn from the previous year and a decline of around 68%. Net loss reached $2.07bn for the same period, compared to net income of $123m the prior year.

Since then, the company has made a significant recovery. In Wynn’s Q3 results, Maddox reported record adjusted property EBITDA at both Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Boston Harbor for the quarter. In Macau, Wynn Palace reported revenue of $181.3m, up from $15.7m in 2020, while Wynn Macau saw a 154% increase to $130.7m.

Despite Wynn’s recovery, Macau casinos are still struggling with ongoing COVID-19 restrictions on travel. For the month of October, gross gaming revenue fell to MOP4.37bn ($544.7m) in the Special Administrative Region of China, representing a drop of 40% year-on-year and the lowest monthly tally of 2021.

Steve Wynn’s ongoing issues

While his successor announces his departure, Wynn Resorts founder and former CEO Steve Wynn is still battling in court. Sexual misconduct claims first arose against the business mogul in 2018 in articles by the Wall Street Journal and Las Vegas Sun. Wynn’s accusers said he used his powers as their employer to induce them to engage in or perform various sexual acts.

employed tactics of bribery and corruption

On October 29, a California federal judge threw out a lawsuit against the ex-Wynn Resorts boss. The plaintiff, Angelica Limcaco, claimed that Wynn and other executives at the casino company employed tactics of bribery and corruption to sink her previous case against the business mogul. Limcaco was a former Wynn salon manager who claims Steve Wynn raped her in 2005.

The California judge said that the plaintiff’s case lacked standing and relied upon circumstantial evidence and “implausibly speculative assumptions.”