WEIDNER TO SMITH: ‘Often in difficult times, differences in opinion become magnified’

  Taking a moment from his morning exercise routine, William Weidner on Monday appeared entirely at ease with his decision to resign Sunday as the president and chief operating officer of the troubled Las Vegas Sands Corp.

  He was neither out of breath, nor off his measured approach when dealing with the press.

  “Often in difficult times, differences in opinion become magnified,” Weidner said between phone calls. “I am very proud of the team that we built and what these talented people accomplished in just over 13 short years. We built the world’s largest resort hotel casino in Las Vegas. We created the largest casino resort presence in Asia in Macau, and we are involved in the ongoing construction of a spectacular casino mega-resort in Singapore.

  “We rebuilt the Sands brand and took it to Macau and soon to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and to Singapore, and established the Venetian and Palazzo brands. The company came from an outmoded 700-room motel to a major worldwide presence in gaming.”

  But for all that was built, it became clear to gaming industry observers that Weidner’s relationship with Sands Chairman and majority owner Sheldon Adelson had substantially soured. In a 2008 SEC filing, the company announced the formation of an executive committee “to address a number of outstanding differences between our chief executive officer and other senior management members.”

  On Monday, Weidner said, “Over the past approximately one year, with falling stock prices and worsening global economic conditions, disagreements and conflicts arose between me and Chairman Sheldon Adelson. As chairman, CEO, and majority owner, Mr. Adelson has more recently insisted on more control of the company. It was time for me to move on and I resigned effective Sunday. I wish only the best for the company and the tremendous group of talented people who I leave behind.”

  Anyone looking for more information from Weidner will likely be disappointed.

  “Given the complications that could ensue, I cannot comment beyond this statement only to again emphasize I wish the best for the company and its wonderful group of dedicated employees,” he said.

  Complications? Why, I wonder what he means.


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