Ken Barton is no longer the CEO or managing director of Crown Resorts. After the report by New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Patrician Bergin was released, stating the company was not fit to hold its Crown Sydney license, the company announced it was taking significant steps to improve compliance, its company culture, and governance. Helen Coonan will now lead the company in an executive chairman role. The board will continue to search for a new CEO.
Barton has released a statement commenting on his departure and the change in leadership. He is working with the company to help with the transition and says that he is certain the company will be on the right path as it works to restore confidence within its operations.
Having worked with the Crown for over a decade, Barton was first the company’s chief financial officer before he was named CEO in early 2020. He was put in the position as the inquiry by Bergin began. As he worked with the Crown, Bergin was also the director for two bank accounts of VIPs. It was found that these accounts were associated with allegations of money laundering.
According to Commissioner Bergin, Barton was not a match for what was needed to control the casino license of the company. Bergin said: “His problems will not be cured by the appointment of people expert in the field who report to him.”
Bergin said further that Barton should have started a full investigation into the allegations of money laundering when the inquiry began. The former CEO is also accused of misleading shareholders during a 2019 annual general meeting. He told shareholders at the time that general information was being shared with Consolidated Press Holdings, a company owned by James Packer, but in fact, the information was confidential.
The Commissioner called out Barton for his behavior and said it was even worse last September when he tried to justify his actions at the meeting. She said it was improper conduct, lacking judgment and insight.
More Employee Resignations
Just after the announcement of the inquiry findings, additional individuals left the company. Three directors of the Crown are no longer in place. This includes Guy Jalland, Michael Johnston, and Andrew Demetriou.
These individuals resigned from their positions so that the Crown can continue its ambitious reform program. For Ms. Coonan, the new director, apologized last week for the shortcomings of the company. She stated further that the criticism by the regulator was appropriate.