One of the largest Australian gaming and entertainment companies, Crown Resorts, has announced that a member of the Order of Australia (AO) — Dr Zygmunt Edward “Ziggy” Switkowski is its new chairman after being approved by the local gambling regulatory body.
People in the business recognise Switkowski as a respected and trustworthy individual known for high positions in the industry. He held some of the most notable positions as CEO of Optus and Australia’s largest telecommunications company, Telstra.
Dr Switkowski will retain his other two positions as chancellor at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and non-executive chairman at the Australian broadband provider NBN Co while performing his duties as Crown Resorts chairman.
Switkowski will replace the current interim chairwoman Jane Halton, who has served as chair since August 26, 2021. He praised Halton for taking the position during a difficult time for the company. Halton will continue to be part of the company as an independent non-executive director.
Goal: Regain Shareholder Trust
The previously appointed chairwoman was Helen Coonan, who resigned after an inquiry into Crown Resorts came close to a recall of the company’s Melbourne license. The investigation into the company’s wrongdoings came after discovering numerous dishonest, illegal, exploitative, and unethical practices that the Commission noted deep inside the ownership circle.
Even though the Victoria Royal Commission eventually ruled that a suspension was unnecessary and that Crown Resorts Melbourne could keep its licence, the company was labelled as unsuitable for running the venue.
Although it was deemed eligible to retain its licence, Crown Resorts’s image did not remain intact, leading to plummeting stocks. Before the so-called downfall, Crown’s stocks stood at $13.15. From that point, the numbers kept dropping, although the share value looked strong again this November, sitting at $11.54.
Due to Dr Switkowski’s professional image and previous engagements in similar situations, the Crown Resorts board is hopeful that his skill would help mitigate the damage and regain shareholder trust. Currently, shareholders remain sceptical of the company and its ability to rise from the dust as no similar effects have been made.
Since the beginning of November, the share prices have been dropping and hit a low of $10.94 on December 1.