36 Graeme Stephens
SKYCITY Entertainment Group
CLAIMS TO FAME
• Former boss of South Africa’s biggest casino operator
POWER SCORE 721 LAST YEAR –
It didn’t take new SKYCITY boss Graeme Stephens long to get the ball rolling on his tenure after taking over from former CEO Nigel Morrison in May.
The ink had barely dried on Stephens’ contract before the New Zealand and Australian-listed casino operator announced in July that it had reached a development agreement with the South Australian government to undertake an AU$330 million revamp of Adelaide Casino. Fast forward another two-and-a-half months and SKYCITY was unveiling a NZ$47 million deal that saw it acquire 15 levels of an office tower connected to SKYCITY Auckland which it plans to use for expanded entertainment, hotel and food and beverage facilities.
But it was this rapid call to action that saw Stephens lured away from his previous role as CEO of South African casino operator Sun International in the first place. As Chairman Chris Moller stated, “His record managing a diverse and fast-growing listed company, operating in a variety of locations, makes Graeme the best person to lead SKYCITY as we progress the New Zealand International Convention Centre and Hobson Street hotel projects, redevelop our Adelaide Casino and plan the next stage of SKYCITY’s strategy.”
Stephens, whose father once oversaw Zimbabwean retail and hospitality conglomerate Meikles Limited, has plenty to keep him busy in the coming years but has already flagged his desire to reposition the company’s flagship Auckland property as a genuine focal point of the city.
To return to the full list of 2017 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.