In 2010, billionaire owners of Wynn Resorts Casino, Steve & Elaine Wynn, divorced in an amicable manner. The divorce agreement stated that Steve would be required to vote for Elaine in order to sit on the board, as long as their assets were split 50/50. Elaine happily agreed with the arrangements, yet only two years later she decided that she wanted to challenge shareholders. Elaine wanted to be granted the right to sell her shares as she saw fit.
This lead to her to suing her ex-husband, Steve Wynn chairperson and CEO of the resort, however in the end, she was unsuccessful. The resort officials did not feel that her intentions were congruent with the shareholders, prompting them to remove her from the board of directors. This lead her to challenge the decision and ask for a shareholder vote so she could return to the board.
The campaign became very heated at one point, and Elaine actually believed she would win and remain part of the board of directors for Wynn Resort Ltd. (
However, this revelation did not convince shareholders to side with Elaine, and she was voted off the board regardless of this fact. Elaine also stated that she was the shareholder who was most qualified to be a board member, but again, this did not matter to enough to change the vote. Despite no longer being part of the board of directors, Elaine remains Wynn Resort’s 3rd largest shareholder. Due to this fact, she will always have a certain amount of power within the company.
Although shareholders voted Elaine off Wynn Resorts board of directors, shareholders promised to replace her with a replacement who is equally as diverse. Wynn Resorts Casino wants to ensure that it follows the trend that calls for adding more women and other minorities to the boards of major corporations. Competitors like MGM Grand’s board of directors consist of a very diverse group of individuals, including 3 females, 2 of which are African American. Elaine is not convinced that Wynn Resorts shareholders will actually bring in another minority board member to replace her, and she will believe it when she sees it.
Elaine was quoted as stating that she feels deeply disappointed about no longer being part of Wynn Resorts Casino’s board, a company which she founded with her husband more than 13 years ago. She, however, does not regret her fight and would do it again if she had to do it all over. She fought hard and gave it her all, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Shareholders thanked Elaine for her service, but that didn’t lessen the amount of her disappointment.
Since the lawsuit, Steve’s shares have plummeted dramatically. The decline is in no way related to Elaine’s lawsuit attempt. The loss in value of shares is as a result of trouble with Macau. Macau is the world’s biggest gambling hub, and since major casinos like Wynn Resorts International, MGM Grand International and others have been making a great deal of money in Macau, citizens of Macau have become disgruntled. They feel it’s unfair for businesses from countries outside China to capitalize on their people.
These negative feelings stem from what Macau refers to as income inequality and maltreatment of casino workers, including extremely low wages. This has led to massive protests, resulting in major losses for the casino industry. The trouble in Macau only intensifies Elaine’s pain, as she sees the company that she helped create drift out of her hands.
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