Coonan to exit Crown by end of August

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Crown Resorts Executive Chairman Helen Coonan.


Crown Resorts Executive Chairman Helen Coonan is likely to depart by the end of this month, with the company said to be on the verge of naming her replacement.

The news was delivered by Crowns lawyer, Michael Borsky, during closing submissions to Victorias Royal Commission into Crown Melbournes suitability on Tuesday, at which he called for the commissioner to appoint an independent monitor rather than strip the companys casino license.

Borsky also insisted that Coonan should not be found an unsuitable person in the face of damning testimony provided during the Royal Commission around Crowns anti-money laundering controls, responsible gambling programs and corporate culture.

No conduct submitted by Counsel Assisting reflects on her character, honesty or integrity, Borsky said.

However, he also revealed Coonan, who became interim Executive Chairman in the wake of the NSW Bergin Report, will announce her retirement as soon as Crown has appointed a new leader. Crowns expectation is that will be by 31 August this year.

As previously reported by Inside Asian Gaming, Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission, Adrian Finanzio, had requested that Coonan and Crown Melbourne CEO Xavier Walsh both be found unsuitable persons when he delivered his own closing submissions a fortnight ago.

Crown announced the impending departure of Walsh on Tuesday morning, confirming he will cease his role on 20 August 2021 he will remain available to assist the company until his employment officially ends on 9 December.

An interim CEO will be appointed following consultation with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

Borsky said the commission need and ought not make any finding on Walshs suitability given his departure.