Wynn loses company president

Wynn Resorts President Ron Kramer, who helped take Steve Wynn’s startup casino company public in 2002, will leave the gaming operator March 31 to become CEO of a New York-based building-products maker.

No replacement for Kramer, 49, was named. However, a source at Wynn Resorts said Monday the company is expected to name Matt Maddox chief financial officer today. Maddox, 31, who is now the company’s vice president of development and treasurer, will assume many of the same duties that Kramer handled in dealing with Wall Street. Current Wynn CFO John Strzemp will become the company’s chief administrative officer.

Steve Wynn is the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Kramer, who was based in New York City, had more than 20 years experience in mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity offerings when he joined Wynn Resorts. The company’s initial public offering in October 2002 had been set between $21 to $23 on the Nasdaq National Market but fell below $15. On Monday, shares of Wynn closed at $96.94, up 27 cents, or 0.28 percent.

Since the IPO, Wynn Resorts opened the $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas in 2005 and the $1 billion Wynn Macau in 2006. Wynn Resorts is expanding Wynn Macau and building the $2.2 billion Encore next to Wynn Las Vegas. It is expected to open by the end of the year. The company’s current market capitalization is almost $11 billion.

Gaming analysts credited Kramer with returning Wynn to the casino industry. The employment agreement for Kramer, who earned more than $7.9 million in salary, bonuses and other compensation in 2006, was expiring this month.

“I wouldn’t read too much into it,” Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Bill Lerner said. “Ron was brilliant for what he was brought in by Steve to do, and that was take the company public and communicate with Wall Street on a very high level. I think six years later, after commuting back and forth between New York and Las Vegas, it was a natural time to move on.”

Jefferies & Co. gaming analyst Larry Klatzkin said Wynn Resorts shares have fallen roughly 14 percent since the end of 2007.

“Despite the departure of Ron Kramer, we believe the decline in the stock creates an opportunity for investors given the long-term upside we see in the company,” Klatzkin said.

In a statement, Wynn said Kramer made an enormous contribution to the development of the casino operator.

“We are grateful for his guidance as the architect of our enviable financial structure from start-up to the company we are today, operating in the world’s two largest gaming markets,” Wynn said.

Kramer is becoming CEO of Griffon Corp., which is based in Jericho, N.Y. The company, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, is a manufacturer of commercial, industrial and residential garage doors and other building products and systems. Kramer has been a member of Griffon’s board of directors since 1993. The company has a market capitalization of $238.2 million.

Maddox has been with Wynn since 2002 and was the original CFO of Wynn Macau. He also worked in investor relations for Wynn and was vice president of finance with Caesars Entertainment.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or (702) 477-3871.

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