American casino operator Wynn Resorts Limited has reportedly announced that one of its board members resigned earlier this week with a second subsequently revealing that he is to stand down when his term expires next year.
According to a Wednesday report from the Associated Press news service published by CNBC, the Las Vegas-based firm explained that 83-year-old Ray Irani had left his post with immediate effect two days earlier while 79-year-old counterpart Alvin Shoemaker is to depart in 2019.
The Associated Press reported that both board members have been named as defendants in multiple legal actions recently filed by disgruntled Wynn Resorts Limited investors over claims that the company’s leadership had failed to act in their best interests. These derivative lawsuits purportedly maintain that the board of directors had breached its fiduciary duties by not doing enough to prevent the alleged long-standing pattern of sexual abuse and harassment tied to the firm’s former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Steve Wynn (pictured).
Seventy-six-year-old Wynn stepped down from his leadership post early last month citing ‘an avalanche of negative publicity’ after The Wall Street Journal newspaper published a story on January 27 that contained allegations that the billionaire casino magnate may have pressured numerous Wynn Resorts Limited employees into performing sexual acts.
The Associated Press reported that Tuesday saw the state of Oregon become at least the sixth plaintiff to file a derivative lawsuit against the board of directors for Wynn Resorts Limited amid claims that the firm’s value had fallen by around $2 billion since the publication of the allegations against Connecticut-born Wynn.
Oregon’s pension system reportedly holds 8,506 shares in Wynn Resorts Limited valued at around $1.3 million but the derivative lawsuit filed in a Nevada state court reportedly claims that this investment is suffering due to the inaction and misconduct of the company’s leadership.
“This filing will help hold the board of directors and [Steve] Wynn accountable for their profound dereliction of fiduciary duty,” reportedly read a statement from Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read, who filed the lawsuit in partnership with Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
The Oregon lawsuit, which followed last month’s filing of a similar action by the public pension fund for the state of New York, reportedly claims that Wynn Resorts Limited’s board of directors should have investigated and stopped Wynn’s alleged behavior but that it had instead ‘devoted substantial company resources’ to hiding the accusations.
“The story of Steve Wynn is a cliché; a powerful man preying on the powerless,” reportedly read the Oregon lawsuit. “But the directors of Wynn Resorts [Limited] were not powerless. They were the only people with the knowledge and ability and duty to the company to investigate and stop Steve Wynn’s conduct.”
In response, the new Chief Executive Officer for Wynn Resorts Limited, 42-year-old Matt Maddox, reportedly told investors during a Wednesday conference call that the company’s board of directors had been ‘extremely active over the past month’ in attempting to ‘expand and refresh its ranks’ and was ‘actively engaged’ with numerous candidates.