- Lendlease CEO Steve McCann will retire from the company at the end of the month and assume the role of CEO and managing director of Australian gaming and entertainment company Crown Resorts on June 1, Lendlease announced Monday. McCann will also step down from the Lendlease board of directors.
- He joins Crown at a crucial point, as firms bid to buy the gaming company while regulators investigate its business practices and threaten to rescind its casino licenses.
- Lendlease announced in February that McCann was retiring and that Tony Lombardo, current head of Lendlease’s Asia division, will take over as the new CEO.
McCann joined Australian contractor Lendlease in 2005 as chief executive of the firm's investment management business, became group finance director in 2007, and has served as CEO since 2008. He joined the board as managing director in March 2009. McCann had originally planned to retire last year, but he delayed his plans to lead the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like many contractors, Leandlease's bottom line was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, the firm reported that its half-year operating profit after taxes had fallen 26% when compared to the same period in 2019, from roughly $219 million to $162 million.
Revenue was also down by 21% for the last six months of 2020, which McCann at the time attributed to the pandemic, delays in new project starts and increased timelines due to social distancing measures.
Crown has faced its share of issues, albeit of a different variety. The company is under investigation over alleged gambling-related crimes, the Wall Street Journal reported. Regulators have threatened to revoke Crown’s casino licenses after an investigation discovered the company had used bank accounts at its subsidiaries to launder money and worked with junket operators to bring high-rollers to Australia, even after learning the groups had ties to organized crime.
As a result, five Crown board members have stepped aside, in addition to former CEO Ken Barton and general counsel Mary Manos. McCann represents the first major addition to the team in the wake of the controversy.
"I am looking forward to joining Crown at a crucial time for the organization and see a real opportunity to help drive significant shareholder value as the company addresses its challenges and emerges from the constraints of the pandemic," McCann said in Crown’s statement about his appointment.