The Aftermath of #MeToo Allegations Against Wynn Resorts CEOs.

Author:Tahmincioglu, Eve
Position:DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT - Interview
 
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Can three women directors bring a "fresh" perspective? D&B sits down with one of the newly minted female board members, Betsy Atkins.

Wynn Resorts CEO and chairman Steve Wynn stepped down in February following sexual misconduct allegations. While the casino mogul has denied the charges, the company he founded has been dealing with the aftermath.

One recent move the new CEO Matt Maddox describes as a "turning point" for the company was the appointment of three new board members, all women.

Earlier this year, the company announced it's expanding the board from eight to 11 members and bringing on Betsy Atkins, Dee Dee Myers and Wendy Webb as independent directors.

In a statement, D. Boone Wayson, Wynn Resorts chairman said: "We are confident that their extensive and wide-ranging expertise will provide fresh and valuable perspectives to support the company's leadership team and business strategy."

Webb is CEO of Kestrel Advisors, which advises corporations on growth initiatives, governance, investor relations and strategic issues. Myers is an executive at Warner Bros. Entertainment, where she is executive vice president for worldwide corporate communications and public affairs. Atkins currently serves on the boards of Cognizant, SL Green Realty and Schneider Electric, and is a member of the board of Volvo Cars.

The following is a Q&A with Atkins, a three-time CEO and founder of Baja Corporation, an independent venture capital firm and author of Behind Boardroom Doors: Lessons of a Corporate Director, about the appointment:

D&B: You are one of three women appointed as new directors to Wynn's board, including Dee Dee Myers and Wendy Webb, what was the gender make up before you all joined? Will more women be added?

Atkins: Before I joined Wynn along with Dee Dee Myers and Wendy Webb, there were eight board members and one was a female, at that time it was 12% female. Now the board has four women bringing us to 36% female. This is the highest percentage of gender diversity on any public board in the gaming sector.

D&B: When you were approached about joining the board, who reached out to you and why do you think they turned to you?

Atkins: I was contacted originally by Anne Sheehan who is the former director of corporate governance at CalSTRS. She felt I would bring a valuable perspective and she introduced me to the search firm, Diversified Search, who was leading the search.

D&B: What were your initial thoughts about joining the board? Were you...

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