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Melanie Porter February 23, 2023 3 min read
Marriott International Legal Counsel Mao Exits Las Vegas Sands Board
Marriott International Legal Counsel Yibing Mao has resigned from Las Vegas Sands’ board of directors to fill in a different position
The legal counsel who first joined the rest of the Las Vegas Sands Corp board members from the position of an independent director in July 2021 made the important announcement earlier in the month.
The Resignation Went into Effect on February 22
On February 17, Yibing Mao notified the NYSE-listed company that her resignation would go into effect starting February 22. Mao’s decision to leave the board of the global leader in the development and operation of world-class integrated resorts is strictly connected to her recent acceptance of a new role with a different company.
According to Las Vegas Sands, Mao was not involved in any disagreements with any of the board members or the management team that might have led to her decision to exit the board.
The former director spent almost two decades and a half as Marriott International’s global senior vice president and chief legal counsel for the Asia-Pacific region. From her office in Hong Kong, she was busy growing the company’s legal team from a pair of members to over 50 lawyers and support staff spread across seven offices. Mao was also involved in the acquisition of Starwood Hotels in 2016.
Las Vegas Sands Will Use the “Controlled Company” Exemption
Las Vegas Sands Corp added that Mao’s resignation has now caused the board to fall short of the necessary number of independent directors. This means that the company which is the parent company of Macau-based operator Sands China Ltd and of Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd will need to use the “controlled company” exemption from listing requirements under the governance regulations of NYSE.
The respective exception for controlled companies refers to the fact that these entities are exempt from the standard requirements of having a board of directors with a majority of independent members along with the requirements connected to compensation and nominating committees. Controlled companies are companies where over half of the voting power is held by either an individual, a group or a different company.
Accordingly, Las Vegas Sands Corp now qualifies as a controlled company since owner Dr Miriam Adelson and trusts along with other entities for the benefit of the Adelson family members have taken control of over 50% of the voting power of the company’s common stock.
Las Vegas Sands on the Look for Independent Directors
The company that specializes in developing resorts featuring luxury hotels, premium conference rooms and a rich plethora of entertainment options is now actively searching for new independent directors to join its board. It is likely that the company would direct its focus on an equally valuable Asia-facing director, given Mao’s important contribution to the growth of the company.
The board is currently chaired by chief executive officer Rob Goldstein since 2021, accompanied by president and chief operating officer Patrick Dumont, and directors Irwin Chafetz, Micheline Chau, Charles D. Forman, Nora M. Jordan, Lewis Kramer, and David F. Levi.
At the start of the year, Las Vegas Sands published its fourth quarter results for 2022, outlining its strong performance and revealing plans for more growth in 2023.