603259MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren to step down before contract ends

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FIL603259e P603259hOTO - MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO James M603259603259Urren attends a news conference at MGM Cotai in Macau, China February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

(Reuters) - MGM Resorts International’s (MGM.N) Chief Executive Officer Jim Murren will step down before completing his contract, the U.S. casino operator said on Wednesday.

Murren will remain CEO and chairman until a successor is named. MGM’s board has formed a committee to search for a successor, the company said.

The casino operator is also working with a nationally recognized search firm to identify candidates for the CEO role.

Murren, who has been at MGM since 1998, has been chairman and CEO since 2008.

  • MGM Resorts withdraws 2020 financial targets on coronavirus hit

Under Murren, MGM had said it would sell its Bellagio and Circus Circus resorts in Las Vegas in separate deals valued at about $5 billion, and had promised to use the proceeds from the deals to “build a fortress balance sheet” and return capital to shareholders.

Last year, MGM announced plans to cut costs and boost growth, proposing to increase annual adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by $300 million by the end of 2021.

Shares of the company were up 1% in aftermarket trade.