Las Vegas Sands (LVS) Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson has taken a leave of absence from the company he founded after resuming treatment for cancer.
According to a Thursday announcement, LVS President and COO Robert Goldstein will take over as acting Chairman and CEO of both LVS and Sands China in Adelson’s absence. He has also been re-designated as an executive director of Sands China, as has the company’s Chief Operating Officer Grant Chum, with Adelson now listed as a non-executive director of Sands China as of 7 January 2021.
There was no indication given as to how long Adelson will remain on medical leave.
The 87-year-old’s absence represents the second time in as many years he has stepped away to seek medical treatment after it was revealed in March 2019 that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
LVS spokesman Ron Reese said at the time, “Mr Adelson is still dealing with certain side effects from the medication he is taking for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These side effects have restricted his availability to travel or keep regular office hours.”
Adelson eventually returned to work in October 2019.
In a research note published shortly after the company announcement, JP Morgan analysts DS Kim and Derek Choi said they don’t expect Adelson’s absence to have a significant impact on Sands China’ day-to-day operations.
“We don’t think anything changes at its operation, which has always been managed by the local management team, including Mr [Wilfred] Wong and Mr Chum,” they wrote.
“It’s also unlikely that the group’s strategic direction changes with this appointment, since we have long viewed Mr Goldstein as “the next man up”; he has been at LVS for ~25 years in a number of executive positions and is universally respected by investors, casino peers, employees and – importantly – the Adelson family.
“The Impact on Sands’ relations with governments (Macau and Beijing) may be open for debate, but we similarly see no negative impact on its positioning in the market – in a similar way that we didn’t see much impact from Mr Steve Wynn’s departure or Mr Stanley Ho’s demise.”