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Gold Coast CEO continues to step down, causing a star exodus

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Star Entertainment Group announced that Jessica Mellor, CEO of Star Gold Coast has resigned.

Mellor’s departure will be official on the 24th of May. Ian Brown, the general manager for gaming at Star Gold Coast will be acting CEO until Star finds a permanent successor.

Mellor’s exit agreement stipulates that she will support Star up until September. The operator stated that this will involve assisting in the transition as well as other “important” initiatives.

Mellor is only the CEO of Star Gold Coast, and has been since October 2018. She became the first and youngest female CEO of the venue when she took on her new role. Before taking the position, she spent nearly four years as Star’s chief operating office.

Mellor worked as a buyer at Aquis Australia and was the CEO of Aquis Entertainment before joining Star. Mellor has also worked for Custodian Funds Management Group and the JLF Group of Companies.

David Foster, Star’s executive chairman, said: “Jessica led The Star Gold Coast during some difficult times. She also managed Covid.” She has played a key role in developing our Gold Coast resort into a world-class integrated destination resort, with joint venture partners.

Jessica has made the decision to leave Star Gold Coast. “I thank her personally and on behalf of the board for all she has done as CEO at Star Gold Coast.”

Star loses its CEO, CFO

Mellor is not the only senior Star staffer to leave in the last few weeks.

Robbie Cooke resigned as Group CEO and Managing Director in mid-March. Christina Katsibouba, the chief financial officer will be leaving as well.

Cooke became CEO of Star on November 20, 2022. Cooke became Star’s fourth chief executive in a year after Matt Bekier resigned from the company during The Star’s investigation into New South Wales, John O’Neill, and Geoff Hogg.

Star stated last month that a change in leadership was best for the company. Foster will assume additional duties while the search is underway for a permanent chief executive officer.

Katsibouba leaves the company to pursue interests outside of business. Neale O’Connell, former Tatts Group Chief Financial Officer will take on this role as an interim.

Star drops to a Q3 Net Loss

Star published an update on its trading for the third quarter this month. This included a 4.6% fall in revenue to AU$419.2m (PS216.1m/EUR252.6m)/US$269.0m).

Star reported that revenue in its premium gaming rooms has fallen year-over-year. The Star Sydney saw a 19.3% drop in revenue from premium gaming rooms. This decline was 20.0% at The Star Gold Coast, and 28% at Treasury Brisbane.

The revenue generated from the gaming area was positive. The Star Sydney saw a 5.4% increase, The Star Gold Coast 4.6% and Treasury Brisbane 6.4%. The premium gaming room revenue was the cause of the overall decline in revenue for all three properties.

The update did not reveal all the financial information. One of the financial results that were made public was a $6.8m net loss after taxes. This was still a good result when compared with the loss of $49.7m recorded in Q3 2020.

The second Bell investigation is launched

Q3 was also informed that the New South Wales Independent Casino Commission would conduct a re-inspection of Star. It is the successor of the notorious Bell Report.

Bell Two is the name of this investigation, which began 19 February. It will continue until 31 May.

Star Sydney was found to have a number of failings in the areas of social responsibility and anti-money laundering. The report recommended 30 improvements to Star Sydney’s practices. A year after Star’s initial investigation was published, the report showed that 22 out of 30 recommendations had been implemented.

Second inquiry focuses on Star’s culture and its effects from the Bell Report.

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