DIRECTOR AND CEO
CEO AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
POWER SCORE: 1,344
POSITION LAST YEAR: 8
CLAIMS TO FAME
- Has overseen a refreshing of the Wynn Resorts board in recent reinvention of the company
- Long-time Wynn Resorts servant, having joined the company in 2002
DIRECTOR AND CEO Matt Maddox might well deserve the title of “captain” in the coming years, having steered the Wynn Resorts ship through troubled waters ever since taking on the top job in February 2018.
Maddox spent much of his first two years as CEO repairing the damage done to Wynn Resorts’ reputation after its founder, Steve Wynn, was accused of multiple instances of sexual misconduct, which saw him step down from the board and eventually sell off his entire stake in the company.
Under Maddox’s watch, the boardroom has undergone a comprehensive makeover, farewelling a number of the “old guard” and adding greater diversity, including significant female representation. Those in the know say the new-look Wynn Resorts is very much an employer of choice in 2021.
Yet there has been little time for Maddox to enjoy his handywork.
In February 2020, authorities in Macau ordered the 15-day closure of all casinos in the SAR, including those run by Wynn Resorts subsidiary Wynn Macau Ltd – Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace – due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Macau’s casinos have not closed again since, business volumes continue to struggle due to ongoing border restrictions with mainland China. Signs of recovery earlier this year have also been stymied in recent months due to a handful of COVID-19 spot fires, the most recent seeing just 8,159 visitor arrivals into Macau for the whole of the October Golden Week holiday, down from almost 1 million arrivals during the same period in 2019.
Wynn’s Macau casinos have generated losses of US$75 million and US$50 million respectively in the first two quarters of 2021, coming off a US$928 million loss in 2020.
But Maddox has remained bullish on Macau’s prospects throughout, telling investors in August that he expects the mass gaming segments to return stronger than ever.
“It’s hard to predict but when we witnessed what happened with Golden Week in May, it just shows that the pent-up demand is very real and I think everywhere around the world the demand for what we do is stronger than it’s ever been,” he said. “Clearly [the VIP segment] won’t come roaring back to what it was, but I fully anticipate that what you’ll see on the premium mass and mass side will be stronger than it’s ever been.”
It is with this in mind that Wynn Macau has been converting some of its old VIP areas into premium mass space, echoing similar moves being made by other operators in the SAR.
The company also completed an expansion of its peninsula property, adding more mass gaming space, two new restaurants and 7,000 square feet of new retail space.
A much more substantial Phase 2 expansion of Cotai IR Wynn Palace remains on hold due to COVID-19, but will include more hotels as well as non-gaming attractions once work gets underway, likely in 2022.
No doubt Maddox will be looking for smoother waters by then.
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