Surprise as MBS president and vice-president of hotel ops leave
Nigel Roberts (left) and Tony Cousens (right) who were responsible for opening the resort and overseeing its operations, have resigned. -- PHOTOS: JOYCE FANG, MARINA MANDARIN SINGAPORE
THERE has been a major shake-up in the top ranks at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) integrated resort, with the departure of two of its senior executives this week.
MBS president Nigel Roberts and vice-president of hotel operations Tony Cousens, who were responsible for opening the resort and overseeing its operations, have resigned.
On Wednesday, two new names were announced to pick up where they left off. Both are hospitality veterans with experience in the United States and internationally.
The new MBS president and chief executive officer is Mr Thomas Arasi, and the new executive vice-president of operations is Mr Ronen Nissenbaum. Mr Arasi, who will oversee every aspect of the development, was appointed last week. Mr Nissenbaum will arrive in Singapore on Aug 24.
MBS parent Las Vegas Sands (LVS), too, has seen movement in its upper management ranks with Mr Leonard DeAngelo, its Asia operations' senior vice-president, resigning around the same time.
All three were appointed earlier in the year to much fanfare. MBS declined to comment on why they left, but speculation is rife.
CIMB-GK economist Song Seng Wun thought it was 'odd that people were resigning within senior management levels so late'.
'It could be a dispute or related to the delays in the project or overall company losses,' said Mr Song, who has been following the IR's progress. 'This might be a way for MBS to get things back on track.'
These changes come on the back of some disappointing news. LVS posted a loss of US$175.9 million (S$254 million) in the second quarter, on reduced spending at its resorts and costs of settling a legal matter, among other factors. Its opening date was also pushed back recently, to the first quarter of next year instead of this year end.
The new appointments were announced at a meeting with LVS president Mike Leven, who was in Singapore for a three-day visit.
2 top execs at IR quit