Boyd chairman to alter his role

30 July 2007

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- In the 1970s, it was easy for Boyd Gaming Corp. Chairman Bill Boyd and his father, Sam, to visit their company's casinos in one day.

Starting at the Eldorado in Henderson, the Boyds could stop by Sam's Town on the Boulder Highway and finish up the day at the California on Fremont Street.

As the company grew, adding the Stardust in the 1980s, going public in 1993, and expanding outside of Nevada to six different states over the past decade, the concept of visiting every casino became virtually impossible.

In announcing Friday that he would relinquish his role overseeing the day-to-day-operations of the casino company at the end of the year, Boyd, 75, explained the move was a way to get back to the old days, where he could have direct contact with customers.

Boyd Gaming President Keith Smith will add the title of chief executive officer starting Jan. 1 and take over day-to-day direction of the company, which recently broke ground on the $4.8 billion Echelon at the site of the now-imploded Stardust.

Current company Chief Financial Officer Paul Chakmak will take over Smith's duties as chief operating officer, and a new CFO is expected to be hired by the end of December.

"I'm not the retiring type. I just got my annual physical and I think I'm in better shape than I was 10 years ago," Boyd said. "We've been working on a succession plan since 2000 and I felt, after 32 years as either president or CEO, it was time to do something else."

Boyd will become executive chairman of Boyd Gaming, remaining as chairman of the company's board of directors and a member of the company's management committee. But he will now have time to visit the company's 17 casinos, not only the Southern Nevada properties but Boyd resorts in Atlantic City, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana and Florida.

Sam Boyd, who founded the company with his son in 1974, died in 1993. The Boyd family currently owns 36 percent of the outstanding shares in Boyd Gaming.

"We used to spend a lot of time on the floor with the customers and the employees," Boyd said. "But as we got bigger, it was more difficult to do that. With Keith taking over the daily duties, I'll have more time to interact with both our guests and our workers. This was always an important element to our culture and our success."

Boyd said he felt comfortable making the transition in January; Echelon is under way, as is an expansion at the Borgata in Atlantic City. He also turning over the company's daily duties to a 17-year Boyd employee.

"I think that was the most important aspect of this transition," Boyd said. "Keith understands our culture and the style we do things. He won't miss a beat."

Smith, 47, was named Boyd Gaming president in 2005 and has been chief operating officer since 2001. He joined the company as corporate controller in 1990, and was promoted to senior vice president, He became executive vice president of operations in 1998. Smith has more than 25 years of experience in the gaming industry, including various executive positions with Aztar Corp.

Smith is also now vice chairman of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's board of directors.

Smith said he doesn't expect any variation in the company's direction or strategy. Boyd continues to look for expansion opportunities across the country and in Las Vegas.

"What's nice is that I've been involved in all of the company's major transactions, from going public to Echelon," Smith said. "We don't foresee any great change in the way we operate. Bill is still part of the company and it's a natural transition."

Chakmak, 42, joined Boyd in 2004 as senior vice president of finance and treasurer. He was promoted to CFO in June 2006. Previously, he had been with CIBC World Markets' West Coast Leveraged Finance Group. Chakmak has more than 18 years of banking experience.

Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Bill Lerner didn't think Wall Street would have many concerns about the transition because of Smith's long tenure with the company. He said analysts know both Smith and Chakmak and have confidence in their abilities.


Related Links
Boyd Gaming Gaming Vendor Information


Copyright GamingWire. All rights reserved.
Featured Vendors
AmericanChecked
House Tech Ads
AmericanChecked
Background checks for the gaming industry with key & non-key packages & fingerprinting solutions
House Tech Ads
Drive quality casino-gambling traffic to your brand from over 70 countries from our premium assets!
Dable Advisory & Consulting Services
Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) Conference
Dable Advisory & Consulting Services
Advisory & consulting services services for Indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses & organizations
Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) Conference
The biggest little show in Indian gaming! Save the date: August 12-14, 2024 Oklahoma City
Casino City Press
GamblersPick
Casino City Press
A leading publisher and distributor of casino and gaming business data and market research reports.
GamblersPick
Share & Read other players' reviews! A top player community-driven portal for online casinos.
Slot Machines Unlimited
Casino Network
Slot Machines Unlimited
Exporter of IGT, Williams, AVP, Trimline, Aristocrat, Konami, Bally, & parts over 20 yrs experience
Casino Network
20+ years experience selling refurbished slot machines, parts & glass for all major brands
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Talisman Group Creators of EZ Baccarat
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Leader in creating award winning player & employee loyalty programs & events proven to increase ROI
Talisman Group Creators of EZ Baccarat
With over 800 tables in 150+ casinos, EZ Baccarat is the number one brand in baccarat.
Casino Schedule Ease
Regulatory Management Counselors, PC
Casino Schedule Ease
Full Featured & customizable for the complex scheduling needs of table games & other casino depts
Regulatory Management Counselors, PC
Over 45 years of experience serving the legal and regulatory needs of casino industry clients
Sunkist Graphics, Inc.
Players Pal
Sunkist Graphics, Inc.
Specializing in the creation of best-of-breed gaming graphics - slot glass, sign faces, and more
Players Pal
Revolutionize the way you connect with your casino players with the Players Pal mobile app
Texas Slots & Gaming
Shenzhen ZhengYuanTai Technology Co., Ltd.
Texas Slots & Gaming
Wholesale gaming reimagined. Texas Slots & Gaming is your sustainable gaming partner.
Shenzhen ZhengYuanTai Technology Co., Ltd.
14 years experienced gaming display manufacturer: open frame, curved, and halo monitors
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
TribalHub
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
Your one stop shop for all your gaming and OEM needs!
TribalHub
25th Annual TribalNet Conference Sept 16-19, 2024 Westgate Las Vegas
Imagine This
Top One Tech Limited
Imagine This
Imagine This #1 Source for Player Gifts. Over $50 million in stock ready to ship! Let us serve you!
Top One Tech Limited
Global Touch solution partner of choice, 10+ years OEM manufacturing, 100,000+ units application
OCR - Online Casino Reports
OCR - Online Casino Reports
Delivers highly targeted casino traffic from over 70 countries! Get your casino listed today at OCR!


Your Guide to 14,931 Gaming Industry Suppliers