Caesars Entertainment's new CEO is former Hertz chief

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Former Hertz Global Holdings CEO Mark Frissora will replace Gary Loveman as CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corp.

Frissora, who left Hertz in September, will succeed Loveman in July, Caesars said. Loveman, who has worked at Caesars since 1998 and was named CEO in 2003, will remain Caesars’ chairman.

Frissora will lead a hotel-casino operator whose heavy debt load and exposure to a struggling Atlantic City market has dragged down financial results in recent years. 

Mark Frissora
Mark Frissora

In 2008 Caesars Entertainment, then known as Harrah’s Entertainment, was taken private by Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital Management in a $30 billion leveraged buyout. It hasn’t been profitable since. 

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2014, Caesars Entertainment’s net loss widened 48% from a year earlier to $1.76 billion, as the company paid $1.95 billion in interest expenses and took a $95.2 million charge from the early extinguishment of some debt. Revenue rose 2.7%, to $6.39 billion.

Last month, Caesars division Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., owner or operator of 44 non-Las Vegas hotels and casinos, filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. bankruptcy court in Chicago as part of a previously announced restructuring effort designed to cut the company’s debt load.

That restructuring has generated opposition from some of Caesars’ creditors, who have taken issue with the restructuring strategy of splitting off Caesars’ relatively healthy Las Vegas assets from its underperforming properties in Atlantic City and other regions.

Frissora was named Hertz’s CEO in July 2006, the same year the company went public, and oversaw the company’s $2.6 billion acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in 2012.

Frissora started feeling pressure from shareholders last year, notably from activist investor Carl Icahn, after the company failed to report financial results because of accounting issues. Hertz also had been negatively affected by vehicle recalls, which left the company short of on-airport inventory.

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