Who leaves a job at $25 million a year?
By Josh Resnek
The mystery surrounding Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox’s departure from the company continues to grow in the absence of additional information first published in the New York Post and the Las Vegas newspaper last week.
The Post reported that Maddox had been investigated by the Wynn Board of Directors about a potential problem that was allegedly company related but had come up with a clean bill of health, apparently, according to industry sources.
However, Maddox leaving is big medicine in the gaming world.
Maddox sits at the very top of the premier gaming enterprise in the world, a gaming juggernaut about to explode with billions of new business when their sports betting platform takes shape and form.
Industry analysts say that Wynn Resorts is trying to get out of the hotel business, and even the casino business, in order to pay closer attention to the making of billions of dollars on Internet gaming.
Rumors circulated two weeks ago that Wynn was attempting to lease its gambling and hotel operation here to Mohegan Sun at a pretty penny while at the same time redoubling its effort to become the nation’s leading gaming on line industry giant.
Gaming online requires fewer employees, very little in the way of physical plant, and returns huge profits and volume.
Back to Maddox – his decision to leave Wynn Resorts remains a shocking development.
He will take with him a payment of a little over $3 million and 82,000 shares of Wynn stock which vest with him the day before he leaves in January.
Wynn Resorts stock was selling at $95 Tuesday.
A news report in the Financial Times this week detailed many of the same things discussed in the Post about Maddox’s strange and rather hasty departure from a company that represents his life’s work even though he is only 45.
A large Wynn investor who spoke anonymously to Agenda expressed surprise that he was leaving.
“It really comes out of nowhere especially when you consider that his life was being the CEO of Wynn Resorts,” said the investor.
Wynn Vice-President Michael Weaver said the board’s confidence in Maddox “has never wavered.”
“Mr. Maddox’s decision to step down is completely his own and unrelated to any investigation, let alone one that was based on a single, anonymous allegation; that investigation, conducted by an independent investigative firm and independent counsel, concluded more than a year ago and found the allegation against Mr. Maddox to be completely false and without merit,” Weaver wrote.
Some concern was expressed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that it was caught off guard by Maddox sudden announcement.
The MGC requires transparency. The MGC said it had no information with regard to Maddox leaving.
Back in 2018, an MGC investigator said it preferred to hear about issues immediately and not to read about them in the newspaper.