LAS VEGAS, Nev.—Las Vegas Sands Corp. has announced that Michael A. Leven, the company’s president and chief operating officer, will retire when his contract expires at the end of 2014. At the same time, the company stated that its chairman and chief executive officer, Sheldon G. Adelson, has no plans to slow down, step back, or relinquish his CEO title and role.
“As the supposed Mark Twain quote goes, the rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated,” said Adelson, addressing a news article which suggested he might give the CEO title to whoever replaces Leven.
“I am as bullish about this company as I’ve ever been, and I have no plans of slowing down or passing the CEO title or job to anyone. We have taken an important leadership position in the gaming and hospitality industry, and I plan on spending year after year building on that success. Whether it’s driving financial results, working with governments to open up new markets, securing new development opportunities in emerging markets, spearheading regulatory compliance, or anything else, I am intently focused on building on the momentum we have established over the past several years,” Adelson said.
Adelson praised Leven, who started serving as the company’s president and chief operating officer in early 2009: “On behalf of the entire LVS family, I want to convey our deepest appreciation for Mike’s tireless work and dedication during his tenure. Mike started in this role at one of the most challenging times in our company’s history, and we appreciate his efforts and leadership in helping LVS experience unprecedented success as we’ve grown,” he said.
A board-led committee is responsible for overseeing the search for a president and chief operating officer for the company and will recommend a candidate to the board for its consideration and approval. Leven, who will turn 77 later this year, will continue to serve as a member of the Las Vegas Sands and Sands China Ltd. Board of Directors upon his retirement.
“I’m grateful to Sheldon and his family for allowing me to help him lead the company during such a tremendous period of growth. I’ve enjoyed working with the finest team in the industry and look forward to continuing to serve the company, its shareholders, and its team members from my position on the board of directors. For me, this is truly a storybook ending to a more than 50-year career in the hospitality industry. I wouldn’t want it to end any other way,” Leven said.
Adelson concluded by saying he planned to push his leadership team to achieve even greater success in the years ahead.
“We have developed a strong track record for securing the most coveted new development opportunities in our business and returning capital to our shareholders at a pace never before seen in our industry,” he said. “I’m not going to let that change, not even for a second.”