SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison resigns

Cites need for break from "demanding" job.

See also: SkyCity scotches Darwin sale speculation

Casino company SkyCity [NZX: SKC] has announced the resignation of its chief executive Nigel Morrison, effective from April 29.

In a statement, Mr Morrison said his eight-year tenure had been “incredibly demanding.

“I’m keen to take a break. The company is in great shape with record revenues and profits and an eight-year record high share price, with a market capitalisation of $3 billion. So, as a chief executive, it’s a good time to step down. The leadership team we have is strong and I’m confident the company will continue to go from strength to strength. “

SkyCity chairman Chris Moller said the move had been planned since September and it was now the right time to make the transition to a new CEO.

“Nigel has done an excellent job,” he said. “During his tenure he has secured the extension of the company’s exclusive casino licences in Auckland and Adelaide and negotiated and managed the New Zealand International Convention Centre transaction and construction contract.

“Nigel has also presided over unprecedented growth of SkyCity’s international business and he had the vision to develop the Federal St precinct into an entertainment and world class dining hub for Auckland,” Mr Moller says. 

Chief operating officer John Mortensen will be interim CEO pending a global search for a replacement.

Shares in SkyCity rose 1% to $5 and have gained 12% this year. The stock is rated a 'buy' according to the average recommendation of analysts compiled by Reuters.

Mr Morrison joined SkyCity as CEO in March 2008 on a base salary of $1.3 million plus short and long term incentives.

He was previously chief financial officer of Galaxy Entertainment Group in Macau.

Mr Morrison’s contract includes a six month restraint of trade period restricting his activities in competing businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

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