Australia's Crown Resorts CEO resigns after damning inquiry report


Current chair Helen Coonan would assume the role of executive chairman on an interim basis, effective immediately, while the board searched for a new CEO, Crown said in a statement.

SYDNEY: Crown Resorts Chief Executive Officer Ken Barton resigned on Monday after an inquiry into money laundering allegations found he was not fit for the job, putting its gambling licence in jeopardy.

Current chair Helen Coonan would assume the role of executive chairman on an interim basis, effective immediately, while the board searched for a new CEO, Crown said in a statement.

Andrew Demetriou, the chairman of Crown Melbourne where the alleged money laundering took place, resigned on Friday, days after two other directors representing major shareholder James Packer also stepped down.

The report, a year-long inquiry commissioned by the New South Wales state gambling watchdog, laid bare allegations of widespread money laundering and governance failures at Crown, calling for sweeping changes to its board and culture.

The report singled Barton out as "no match for what is needed at the helm of a casino licensee" and said that the regulator could not have confidence in dealing with him.

"Assuming the role of executive chairman is a decision I have not taken lightly but the Board feels it provides leadership stability and certainty at this important time for the business," Coonan said in Monday's statement.

"The Board is determined to maintain the momentum as Crown takes significant steps to improve our governance, compliance and culture," she said.

- Reuters
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