Isle of Capri CEO McDowell announces retirement


Isle of Capri Casinos CEO Virginia McDowell will retire for the regional gaming company in April and be replaced by current chief financial officer Eric Hausler.

The St. Louis-based casino operator said Thursday McDowell would also leave Isle's board of directors in April. McDowell is currently the only female CEO of a major casino operator.

Hausler became CFO in 2014. He served in several executive and financial positions with Isle since 2009. Hausler was a Wall Street gaming analyst before joining Isle.

McDowell has been credited for the company's growth over the past few years.

"Having followed the story for quite some time, we believe a number of the operational and physical plant changes stewarded over the past 18 to 24 months directly reflect Ms. McDowell's vision and aspirations for the company," Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski told investors.

Isle of Capri operates 14 casinos in seven states. The company was licensed in Nevada in 2010 when it acquired 0.1 percent interest in Fernley Pioneers LLC, which operates a small casino in Fernley, east of Reno. At the time, McDowell said Isle planned to enter the Las Vegas locals market when an opportunity rose.

As part of the restructuring, Isle Chief Operating Officer Arnold Block will add the title of president and treasurer Michael Hart will become Isle's principal financial officer.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.