Elaine Wynn Backed Harrah's Ex-CEO Satre for Chairman Role

(Bloomberg) -- In the latest sign of tension between Elaine Wynn and the casino company she co-founded, the billionaire said she backed a candidate for chairman or vice chairman that Wynn Resorts Ltd. rejected.

Phil Satre, the former chief executive officer of Harrah’s, now called Caesars Entertainment Corp., confirmed to Bloomberg News that he withdrew his name from consideration for a Wynn Resorts board seat. He declined to elaborate.

The candidate was offered a position on the board, but not the role of chairman or vice chairman, Elaine Wynn said in a regulatory filing Monday. Wynn said the nominee wasn’t a close associate of hers and that she had no agreements over direction of the company.

Elaine Wynn, the former wife of longtime CEO Steve Wynn, has been trying to reshape the board since her ex-husband stepped down in February. Steve Wynn was accused of sexually harassing multiple female employees, charges he denied. She successfully knocked one board member off the board by mobilizing shareholders ahead of the annual meeting in May.

In the latest filing, Wynn repeated an earlier request to have the entire Wynn Resorts board face election every year. She also urged the company to seek outside counsel in negotiating the separation of former General Counsel Kim Sinatra. Elaine Wynn suggested the termination could be for cause and that the company could withhold severance payments from Sinatra if she didn’t cooperate with regulatory investigations.

Wynn Resorts, based in Las Vegas, is being investigated by regulators in Nevada, Massachusetts and Macau in connection with the harassment allegations. A spokeswoman for Elaine Wynn declined to comment.

Wynn Resorts is continuing its efforts to refresh the board, including reviewing candidates submitted by Elaine Wynn, the company said in an emailed statement. One-third of the board is new this year and additional members are expected by the end of the summer.

Satre, 69, is president of the National Center for Responsible Gaming. He ran Harrah’s Entertainment for decades and is currently chairman of both retailer Nordstrom Inc. and slot machine maker International Game Technology Plc.

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