LAS VEGAS – Jim Murren, chairman of MGM Resorts International, is stepping down.
The chief executive officer informed MGM’s board of directors that he will leave his post before his contract expires.
“Leading MGM Resorts has been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience in my professional career,” Murren said in a statement. “We have a solid leadership team in place, and I am confident that they will work with my successor to continue the Company’s trajectory of growth and expansion.”
Murren will continue in his role as CEO and chairman until a successor is appointed, MGM announced Wednesday.
“Jim has led the company through growth, transforming it into a global entertainment company with a worldwide footprint and creating value for MGM Resorts shareholders,” Roland Hernandez, lead independent director of the MGM Resorts Board of Directors, said in a statement. “As CEO, he has spearheaded significant achievements across our properties, including the development of the CityCenter destination and has turned resorts into showcases of entertainment and sophisticated architecture.”
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Murren has served as chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts since 2008. He joined the company in 1998.
Murren helped establish the presence of professional sports in Las Vegas, involved in the building of T-Mobile Arena and bringing the Vegas Golden Knights, the Las Vegas Aces and the Las Vegas Raiders to the city.
He led the MGM’s expansion in Asia, opening two properties in Macau and a current effort to get a gaming license in Osaka, Japan.
Strip properties shed
Murren’s announcement comes months after MGM Resorts revealed the sales of several iconic properties on the Las Vegas Strip.
MGM Resorts announced in October that it was selling the real estate of the Bellagio to a joint venture with real estate company Blackstone Group for about $4.25 billion. MGM Resorts also closed on the sale of Circus Circus Las Vegas and 37 adjacent acres for $825 million.
In January, the company announced the sale of the MGM Grand to a joint venture for about $2.5 billion. The joint venture includes private-equity firm Blackstone and MGM Growth Properties LLC.
Blackstone is also angling to acquire the real estate assets of Mandalay Bay from MGM Growth Properties and lease both properties to MGM Resorts for an initial rent of $292 million.
Shooting victims settlement
Murren’s departure also comes less than six months after MGM Resorts International and lawyers representing victims and families in the Las Vegas shooting rampage that killed 58 people and wounded hundreds in 2017 reached a settlement deal that could total $800 million.
The hotel giant and lawyers for the plaintiffs issued a statement in October saying the total settlement amount is expected to be $735 million to $800 million, depending on the number of people who elect to participate. Lawyers hope to complete the deal, which could involve thousands of people, by late 2020.
Oct. 1 marked two years since Stephen Paddock fired into the crowd of 22,000 from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay hotel, owned by MGM, for more than 10 minutes before taking his own life. Investigators never determined a motive for the attack, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“Our goal has always been to resolve these matters so our community and the victims and their families can move forward in the healing process,” Murren said. “This agreement … is a major step, and one that we hoped for a long time would be possible.”
Contributing: USA TODAY and Associated Press