Ken Barton has resigned as CEO and managing director of Crown Resorts. Helen Coonan will become a temporary executive chairman while the board searches for a replacement.
Barton said he is “absolutely certain the business is now on the right path as it works to restore confidence in its operations.” He is also committed to helping with the transition to new leadership. Coonan thanked Barton for his dedication to the company and added the company is taking steps to improve its governance.
“Assuming the role of executive chairman is a decision I have not taken lightly but the board feels it provides leadership stability and certainty at this important time for the business,” said Coonan. “Working closely with the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and regulators in Victoria and Western Australia, I will continue to lead on the implementation of Crown’s ambitious reform program.”
Barton’s departure comes after the resignations of several other company directors after the company underwent public inquiry into possible money laundering. Last week, Patricia Bergin, the judge in charge of the inquiry, posted a report stating Crown Resorts is unfit to hold an operational license. She also recommended replacing the company’s board.
Crown Resorts was planning to open a AU$2.2bn (US$1.7bn) Barangaroo casino in Sydney, but with the claims of unsuitability, the project was halted.