Crown (ASX:CWN) share price lifts as controversial chair retires

Coonan was previously singled out by the Victorian Royal Commission as an unfit to oversee reforms of the company.
The post Crown (ASX:CWN) share price lifts as controversial chair retires appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

The Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) share price is climbing in early trade this morning. That’s after the company officially announced the retirement of chair Helen Coonan, effective today.

Coonan will be replaced by former Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) CEO Ziggy Switkowski. Jane Halton will act as interim chair until Switkowski is confirmed to his position.

At the time of writing, the Crown share price is trading at $9.44 – up 1.62%%. For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is trading 0.05% lower.

Let’s take a closer look at today’s news.

‘Ms Coonan…cannot be the critical face of change required at Crown’

It will be interesting to see how the Crown share price performs today as investors digest the latest news from the embattled casino operator.

Crown Resorts had already signalled to the Victorian Royal Commission looking into its gaming licence in the state that Coonan would leave by the end of this month. The pressure was on the former Howard government minister to step down from the board following a scathing submission by counsel assisting.

“Ms Coonan… cannot be the critical face of the change required at Crown if it is to remain the licensee,” counsel assisting Adrian Finanzio told the Royal Commission at the time.

Finanzio had similarly harsh words for Crown Melbourne CEO Xavier Walsh. Walsh, too, resigned after those adverse comments were made against him. The Crown share price rose on this news.

In today’s release, former chair Coonan said it was a “privilege” working at Crown, especially driving a “transformation of the culture, governance and compliance” of the company.

“My aim has been to stabilise and strengthen the business following the recommendations of the Bergin inquiry and set Crown on the reform path now being embedded across our world-class assets in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney,” she said.

“I have always sought to act in the best interests of Crown and endeavoured to consider the impact on our shareholders, customers, and employees. I am confident the board’s selection of Ziggy as chairman will reinforce the organisation-wide commitment to our reform program.”

She did not address the allegations made against her at the Royal Commission. Crown, however, did previously respond to the comments at the Royal Commission. Counsel for Crown told the inquiry that no findings by counsel assisting “reflect[ed] adversely on her character, honesty, or integrity.”

Dr Switkowski added he looked forward to joining the board, “growing value for shareholders, and continuing reforms at the company”.

Crown share price snapshot

Over the past 12 months, the Crown share price has increased 0.43%. The ASX 200 is up 22.3% over the same period. The impacts of the Royal Commission saw Crown lose all the value it gained from multiple takeover approaches.

Crown has a market capitalisation of about $6.3 billion.

The post Crown (ASX:CWN) share price lifts as controversial chair retires appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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More reading

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The Crown (ASX: CWN) share price lifts after last-ditch licence push
Crown (ASX:CWN) share price edges higher despite Victorian lockdown
Crown (ASX:CWN) share price gains as Coonan plans to step down
Crown (ASX:CWN) share price up despite Crown Melbourne CEO exiting

Motley Fool contributor Marc Sidarous has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Telstra Corporation Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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