Elaine Wynn Pushes to Oust Director in Post-Scandal Overhaul
(Bloomberg) -- Elaine Wynn is urging shareholders to withhold votes for director John Hagenbuch, part of a push to remake the casino company she co-founded with her disgraced ex-husband.
Saying Hagenbuch was a legacy director who would hold back efforts to create a “New Wynn,” Elaine Wynn filed proxy materials seeking to block his re-election at the company’s annual meeting on May 16.
“We need a new era at Wynn Resorts,” the 75-year-old wrote in a letter to shareholders. “Although the board recently unilaterally appointed three new directors and indicated its intention to add more new directors in the coming months, I do not believe these steps go far enough toward changing ‘business as usual’ in Wynn’s boardroom.”
Wynn, the company’s largest shareholder, has pushed aggressively for changes in the months since sexual-harassment allegations led to the downfall of ex-husband Steve Wynn. She settled all litigation with her former spouse earlier this month in exchange for $25 million.
Steve Wynn, 76, stepped down from the luxury resort operator in February after a series of news stories exposed alleged harassment of female employees. Wynn, who had served as chief executive officer, subsequently sold all of his shares.
In pushing for the removal of Hagenbuch, Elaine Wynn described him as “a longtime close friend of Mr. Wynn’s.” She also said that she doesn’t want the company to sell its still-under-construction Boston-area casino until the board is reconstituted.
“Several longstanding legacy directors still wield significant influence at the company,” she said. “This is especially true of Mr. Hagenbuch, who serves on the special committee responsible for overseeing the investigation into allegations of Mr. Wynn’s sexual harassment and on the compensation committee.”
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