Australian gaming and entertainment company Crown Resorts has announced that Dr Zygmunt Edward “Ziggy” Switkowski, member of the Order of Australia (AO), has been approved by the local gambling regulatory body and will assume the position of the Crown Resorts chairman.
Switkowski Approved as Crown Resorts Chairman
The new chairman is an experienced and recognized individual who has held various prestigious positions in other organizations. Previously, he served as the chief executive officer of Optus and also later at Telstra – Australia’s largest telecommunications company.
Other than becoming a chairman of Crown Resorts, Switkowski will retain his other positions as a non-executive chairman of the Australian wholesale broadband provider NBN Co and as a chancellor of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
In his position, Switkowski will replace interim chairwoman Jane Halton. As a part of the Crown Resorts board, Switkowski thanked Halton for giving her best as an interim chairwoman during a time of a major board and management renewal at the company.
Halton has served as a chair since August 26, 2021. She will stay in the company, assuming the role of an independent non-executive director.
Crown Resorts Will Try to Regain Shareholder Trust
Switkowski joins the company after Helen Coonan, a former politician, previously serving as Crown Resorts’ chairwoman, resigned. Coonan’s resignation came after an inquiry came close to revoking the license of the Crown Melbourne venue for good. This happened because of various illegal, dishonest, unethical, and exploitative practices that the Commission noted had taken root deep inside the ownership company.
Luckily for Crown Resorts, the closure never came to happen as the Victoria Royal Commission eventually concluded that the resort would keep its operational license. Even so, Crown Resorts was labeled “unsuitable” for running the venue and will, as a result, be a subject of stronger regulations.
Despite retaining its license, the happening deeply hurt Crown Resorts’ image, which, in turn, led to its stocks plummeting. Before the downfall, Crown’s shares stood at the peak of more than 13.15 AUD (roughly 9.40 USD). Since then, their price started steadily dropping. On November 9, the shares had hit a new high since the start of the decline, sitting at 11.54 AUD ($8.26 USD).
As Switkowski is an esteemed professional, Crown Resorts hopes that appointing him will mitigate some of the damage and help to regain some of the shareholders’ trust that was lost. For now, no such effect has been remarked, and shareholders remain skeptical of the company.
The price of shares continues dropping and, as of late December 1, sat at around 10.94 AUD (7.82 USD).