Sheldon Adelson has requested an official medical leave of absence as he addresses his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.
Adelson on the Mend, Takes Medical Leave of Absence
Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson has faced numerous challenges regarding his health of late. Recovering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the casino mogul made a return in 2019 and began attending earnings calls in October that year, demonstrating his willingness to lead the company he has helped build from the grounds up.
Today, Mr. Adelson and his wife Miriam own 58% of the company’s stock. When Mr. Adelson was first diagnosed with cancer, the couple withdrew from day-to-day operations, albeit not withdrawing from running the business officially.
Yet, Mr. Adelson will be forced to take another leave of absence as the casino boss, aged 87, will be resuming treatments for his condition. In his stead, LVS president Rob Goldstein will step in as acting chairman and chief executive.
Mr. Goldstein will take up the same responsibilities for the company’s Macau subsidiary, Sands China. With over 25 years of experience throughout the company, the board of directors feels Mr. Goldstein is the right person for the job, and so does Mr. Adelson.
Commenting on these developments, Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli had this to say in a brief update:
“We believe, and we believe investors concur, Mr. Goldstein is more than simply well equipped to perform the active duties in the absence of Mr. Adelson during his treatment.”-Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli
Even with Mr. Adelson absent, there should be no change in the company’s strategy, Santarelli noted. Upon announcing the news on Thursday, LVS’ shares on the New York Stock Exchange went down 1%.
Las Vegas Sands Boss beyond the Speculation
Mr. Adelson is one of the most significant names in the casino industry. A long-term proponent of brick-and-mortar gaming, Mr. Adelson recently made forays in Texas, a holdout state that has been opposed to all forms of gambling.
He was also one of the few executives who shielded their employees during the Covid-19 pandemic, retaining employees for months and paying benefits and health insurance, at a time when others were quickly shedding their work force to minimize losses from a botched 2020.
Mr. Adelson further helped the US casino giants reach Macau, the biggest gambling hub in Asia controlled by China.
Las Vegas Sands owns five properties in the special administrative region, and they may now be in danger because of 45th President of the United States Donald Trump attempts to score political points at the expense of private enterprise.
Adelson’s confidence about the future of Macau was never shaken and he still believes that, despite the Covid-19 crisis, and Macau reporting its worst year for the casino industry to date, the territory remains “one of the greatest business and leisure tourism destinations in the world.”
Despite Mr. Adelson’s suspected interference with a new interpretation of the Wire Act, he has been a force for good in the casino sector. Seeing him face this challenge is upsetting and we wish him a speedy recovery.