Crown Melbourne to part ways with CEO Xavier Walsh

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Crown Melbourne

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Australian casino giant Crown resorts has announced the departure of Crown Melbourne CEO Xavier Walsh just 35 minutes before the company was due to start closing submissions to Victorias Royal Commission into its suitability to retain its casino license.

Walsh was one of two senior executives, alongside Crown Resorts Executive Chairman Helen Coonan, that General Counsel assisting the Royal Commission has asked to be found not suitable to be associates of Crown Melbourne.

In a Tuesday morning filing, Crown said Walsh will cease his role as Crown Melbourne CEO on 20 August 2021, although 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.

Walsh was heavily criticized during Royal Commission hearings, which saw Counsel Assisting last month call for the company to be found unsuitable to retain its license.

Counsel Assisting Adrian Finanzio SC said during his closing submissions that, The misconduct that has given rise to the loss of confidence and trust is at the most serious end of the spectrum, including systemic and repeated failings as an AML/CTF reporting entity, a provider of responsible gaming, a casino that guards against organized crime influences at the casino, a taxpayer, an employer who failed to prioritize employee safety and a regulated entity who was more concerned with the risk of getting caught than compliance.