Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and chief executive on Tuesday, days after an explosive report that detailed decades of his alleged sexual misconduct against employees.
The 76-year-old mogul initially denied the allegations in the Wall Street Journal report and appeared to do so again in a statement on Tuesday, even as he resigned. Wynn said he was “the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” and added the allegations created an environment “in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts.”
But the report took a toll. Interviewed were 150 former and current female employees of Wynn Resorts, many of whom detailed allegations over decades that included his efforts to pressure some to perform sexual acts.
The investigation was sparked when a lawsuit by Wynn’s ex-wife included information that Wynn paid a manicurist a $7.5 million settlement after he allegedly demanded they have sex in his office in 2005. Wynn created a limited liability company called Entity Y to pay the settlement.
Wynn Resorts president Matt Maddox, who took that role in 2013, will replace him as CEO, according to the New York Times. Boone Wayson will become non-executive chairman of the board and said in a statement that the board of directors accepted Wynn’s resignation “with a collective heavy heart,” calling Wynn a “philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary.”
Wynn’s name is the company’s logo and he owns a 12 percent share in the company. The company’s stock dropped 18.5 percent in the four days following the initial report. The stock rose 9.3 percent in less than 24 hours since Wynn’s resignation. The company is active in Las Vegas and Macau, China, and is building a resort outside Boston.
Wynn has been active in the Las Vegas casino scene for decades, but founded Wynn Resorts in 2000 and went public two years later.