Las Vegas-based global hospitality and entertainment company, MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), has announced that Nevada’s former governor, Brian Sandoval (pictured), will join the 33-year-old company as President of Global Gaming Development.

According to the press release

The 55-year old will drive the efforts of the company to expand its global footprint, with Japan being most important, and focus on state public policy efforts regarding sports gaming while strengthening its leadership in the burgeoning sports betting market.

Hornbuckle positioning:

With the former governor now on board, global casino marketing will now be led by the president of MGM Resorts, Bill Hornbuckle, who will be responsible for leveraging the company’s global assets and reputation as a driver of revenue growth and ‘maximize the value contributed” from its assets. The marketing focus by Hornbuckle will additionally serve to drive MGM Resorts’ overall growth in Macau.

unparalleled level of skill

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for MGM Resorts, Jim Murren commented on the appointment, saying…

“Few leaders are as widely respected, accomplished and knowledgeable as Brian Sandoval, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him as part of the MGM family. Governor Sandoval brings an unparalleled level of skill, leadership and experience to the company, and we will benefit greatly from his in-depth expertise in gaming, public policy and economic development.”

Murren added…

“Likewise, Bill Hornbuckle has a proven record of developing and implementing marketing strategies that excite and entertain in ways that translate to revenue enhancement and value creation. We are pleased that, with the recent launch of MGM 2020, a business operations and digital transformation program, Bill can enhance his focus on the vital role of leading global casino marketing so we can expand our market share in Las Vegas and abroad.”

someone who I greatly respect

Sandoval had the following to say about joining the company…

“As I return to the private sector for the first time in over 20 years, finding the right professional opportunity to best suit my experience as a former legislator, gaming regulator, Attorney General, federal judge and Governor was important to me. MGM Resorts is a global leader in gaming and entertainment, and I look forward to joining the MGM team led by Jim Murren, someone who I greatly respect. Jim has formed critical relationships in Japan and in sports, and I look forward to building upon this strong foundation.”

Hornbuckle also expressed his thoughts on the changes, saying that it’s an exciting time for the company as it continues the expansion of its gaming operations worldwide while at the same time transforming it via its MGM 2020 strategy.

“I look forward to leveraging our global operations and harnessing the power of new digital tools to deliver on our strategic objectives, capture market share and grow revenue,” said Hornbuckle.

Industry ties:

After finalizing his divorce in February last year, Sandoval’s office announced that he would be marrying Lauralyn McCarthy (pictured, left) on August 11, 2018. McCarthy has worked in the gambling industry for more than 20 years, including at casino equipment manufacturers IGT, Scientific Games and Aristocrat Technologies, according to the Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report.

MGM 2020 initiative:

MGM Resorts recently launched its ‘company-wide business optimization initiative,’ MGM 2020, that could see it realize annualized adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization savings in 2021 worth up to $100 million. The move by the company comes after seeing the value of its shares fall by around 26 percent over the course of the last twelve months to hit a two-year low.