HONG KONG -- Steve Wynn has stepped down as the CEO of Wynn Resorts after allegations of sexual misconduct piled pressure on the billionaire casino mogul and sent the company's stock tumbling.
"It is with a collective heavy heart, that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts today accepted the resignation of our founder, CEO and friend Steve Wynn," one of the directors, Boone Wayson, said in a company statement late Tuesday.
Wynn has denied the accusations of misconduct, which drew widespread attention last month after an investigative report by The Wall Street Journal detailed numerous allegations against him.
"In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity," Wynn said in a statement. "As I have reflected upon the environment this has created -- one in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts -- I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles."
Wynn Resorts said it has appointed Matt Maddox, who currently serves as the company's president, as its new CEO effective immediately. Wayson will take over as chairman.
Losing Wynn is a heavy blow for the global gambling empire he built and that bears his name.
He said he was stepping down from "a company I founded and that I love."
Analysts have expressed concern about how Wynn's businesses in Las Vegas and the Chinese territory of Macau would operate without him at the helm.
"Mr. Wynn is the Wynn," analysts at investment firm Bernstein wrote in a note to clients last month. "Without him, the Wynn Resorts ... is a different operation."
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Steve Wynn steps down as CEO of Wynn Resorts
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