SkyCity Loses CEO Nigel Morrison

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It’s time for someone else to run the show for SkyCity. Per reports, CEO Nigel Morrison has resigned from his post atop the New Zealand and Australian casino operator after an eight-year run.

Morrison will leave SkyCity effective at the end of April, where the company’s NZ COO, John Mortensen, is expected to fill in on an interim basis while SkyCity searches for a permanent successor to Morrison.

Moving On

Per SkyCity chairman Chris Moller, the move was a long time coming. The SkyCity board and Morrison had reportedly been detailing an exit strategy ever since September and the stars appeared to align to begin the transition at the end of the month.

“We have been talking formally with Nigel for the last six months, it was mutual all along the way”, said Moller.

While the move was expected and even planned, SkyCity moves forward without a permanent fixture with the CEO label. Having Mortensen to help the transition could be a key reason why the company isn’t pressuring itself into a snap decision, as Moller spoke highly of Morrison’s temporary successor.

Moller also commented on Morrison’s “excellent” work as the company’s CEO for the past eight years, when he oversaw exponential growth of SkyCit’s “international business”.

Moller also touched on Morrison’s stay as CEO specifically:

“During his tenure he has secured the extension of the company’s exclusive casino licences in Auckland and Adelaide and negotiated and managed the New Zealand International Convention Centre transaction and construction contract.”

Reason For Leaving

The big reason for Morrison’s departure? The job was too taxing. While skeptics will assume something else was afoot, Morrison remains held in high regard with the company and simply decided it was time for a break, describing the day to day grind as CEO as “an incredibly demanding job”.

Morrison leaves SkyCity in capable hands and in a good spot, as the company is fresh off of record revenues and profits (shares rose 12% since last year).

Initially getting his start as CEO of Australia’s Federal Group, Morrison graduated to CFO of Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group,  and  in 2008 joined SkyCity.

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