Dr Ziggy Switkowski AO clears regulatory approvals to become new Crown Resorts Chairman

By Gambling Insider

Crown Resorts has confirmed Dr Ziggy Switkowski AO as its new Chairman after receiving all necessary regulatory approvals.

Switkowski replaces Interim Chair Jane Halton who, after assuming the role on 26 August 2021, will stay on as an independent non-executive director.

On behalf of the Crown Board, the new appointee thanked Halton for her “outstanding stewardship in the role of Interim Chairman during a period of significant board and management renewal.”

Switkowski is currently the Chancellor of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and non-executive Chairman of broadband provider NBN Co, and has previously served as CEO at Telstra and Optus.

His appointment followed the exit of former Chair Helen Coonan, who stepped down in the wake of an inquiry that dogged the Australian company and threatened to revoke the licence for its Crown Melbourne property.

But the Victorian Royal Commission has since come to a close, with Crown retaining the right to operate Crown Melbourne, despite being found “unsuitable”.

In the Commission’s report, dubbed the ‘Finkelstein Report’ after Commissioner Ray Finkelstein, Crown was accused of engaging in conduct that was “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative.”

Switkowski’s assumption of the role marks a new chapter in the company’s history, one which will see it subject to more regulatory oversight. However, his official appointment has yet failed to inspire confidence in Crown’s shareholders.

The company’s shares climbed to AU$11.54 (US$8.26) on Friday 9 November, the highest since 5 July, but have been in slow decline ever since. As of the morning on Wednesday 1 December, Crown’s shares had dropped to AU$10.90.

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