MGM Resorts fills No. 2 post with longtime exec

MGM Resorts International on Wednesday named longtime company executive Corey Sanders as chief operating officer, the No. 2 position in the casino operator’s hierarchy.

The company had been without a chief operating officer since November 2008, when Jim Murren replaced retiring Terry Lanni as chairman and chief executive officer.

In an e-mail to MGM Resorts employees, Murren said Sanders has spent the past 14 months technically in the COO position, overseeing the company’s core brands and regional properties.

Sanders has been with MGM Resorts for more than 16 years, holding several executive positions. He served as the chief financial officer for both the MGM Grand and the company’s MGM Grand Resorts division.

Murren was COO for about a year after serving nearly a decade as the company’s chief financial officer.

MGM Resorts also named Gamal Aziz as president and CEO of MGM Hospitality. The move allowed Aziz to give up his responsibilities as president of the MGM Grand and focus on developing luxury, nongaming hotel brands for MGM Resorts around the world. Aziz had been filling both roles.

MGM Hospitality has projects under the development using the MGM Grand and Bellagio brands in China, Egypt, Dubai and India.

“This new aspect of our business is vital to our company’s future as it allows us the ability to open new revenue streams without taking on the heavy financial burden normally associated with a new resort,” Murren said.

MGM Resorts also announced several changes to its property presidents.

Renee West is leaving Mandalay Bay to become president of Luxor and Excalibur. Chuck Bowling, who had been the company’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, takes over as president of Mandalay Bay.

Scott Sibella will leave The Mirage to become president of MGM Grand, and Felix Rappaport will leave Luxor and Excalibur to become president of The Mirage.

Steve Zanella, who had been the senior vice president of marketing for MGM Grand, will become general manager of MGM Grand Detroit replacing Lorenzo Creighton, who left the company.

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