Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn is stepping down as CEO and chair of Wynn Resorts amid allegations that he engaged in a long-standing pattern of sexual misconduct, including with employees.
Matt Maddox, the current president of Wynn Resorts, has been appointed to take over as CEO, the board said in a statement announcing the resignation of the resort's namesake.
"It is with a collective heavy heart, that the board of directors of Wynn Resorts today accepted the resignation of our founder, CEO and friend Steve Wynn," board member Boone Wayson said in the statement. "Steve Wynn is an industry giant. He is a philanthropist and a beloved leader and visionary. He played the pivotal role in transforming Las Vegas into the entertainment destination it is today."
Wynn added his own statement, acknowledging that he had found himself "the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity" in the past couple of weeks.
"As I have reflected upon the environment this has created — one in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts — I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles," Wynn said. Calling Wynn Resorts "houses of brick," he said that his casinos "will remain standing for the long term."
He added that he "wholeheartedly" endorses the succession plan created by the board of directors, and that Maddox would "carry on the plans and vision for the company I created."
Wynn founded the company in 2002, and it has built hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and Macau, China. Wynn Resorts is currently building a resort in Everett, Massachusetts, near Boston.
Wynn's resignation follows a Wall Street Journal article published on Jan. 26 that detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against the casino magnate.
The article, which featured interviews with employees at Wynn's casinos, reported "behavior that cumulatively would amount to a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct."
In a statement to the paper, Wynn called the allegations "preposterous."
After the article was published, Wynn announced he would resign as the finance chair of the Republican National Committee. Both the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and the Nevada Gaming Control Board also said they will investigate and review Wynn Resorts in their respective states.