Gaming and hospitality giant Caesars Entertainment has named
Tony Rodio its new CEO, confirming what many expected to happen based on a
weekend report in the Wall Street Journal.
Rodio is currently the CEO of
Affinity Gaming, a regional operator of nearly a dozen casinos across the western
and midwestern United States. He will take the Caesars' reins sometime over the
next 30 days. Outgoing CEO Mark Frissora announced last November he was
stepping down, and he was due to depart officially by the end of this month.
"Tony brings to Caesars a track record of operational
excellence, proven leadership and deep industry knowledge and expertise,"
said James Hunt, Caesars' board chairman.
Rodio's appointment was pushed for by gaming magnate and
Caesars shareholder Carl Icahn, who has been publicly pressuring Caesars to
sell the company to increase shareholder value. The Caesars board
simultaneously announced the creation of a transaction committee to explore the
best options for the company moving forward. Reported potential suitors to
acquire Caesars include Tilman Fertitta, owner of Golden Nugget Casinos, and
Eldorado Resorts, which owns and operates nearly 30 casinos across the United
Rodio has worked in
the gaming industry for nearly four decades. Before his run at Affinity, he was
president and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment, which was owned by Icahn.
Earlier, he worked in various roles for both Hollywood Casino and Harrah's
Entertainment. (Harrah's purchased Caesars in 2005, and the company took the
Caesars name five years later.)
"I have long admired Caesars and am optimistic about
the company's future prospects," said Rodio. "Our industry is going
through a time of transition and opportunity, and I look forward to leading
Caesars' exceptional team through the company's next phase of growth,
innovation and value creation."
Source: Northstar Meetings Group