Analyst: Murren’s departure from MGM ‘brings to question’ company’s strategic direction Howard Stutz, Nevada Independent · February 14, 2020 at 3:50 pm The announcement that Jim Murren would step away as MGM Resorts International’s chairman and CEO before his employment agreement expires at the end of 2021 dominated Wednesday’s fourth quarter earnings conference call. Exactly who the committee of independent MGM board members and an executive search agency selects to step into Murren’s role is the investment community’s newest fixation. “His departure brings to question the strategic direction of the company,” Union Gaming Group analyst John DeCree told investors. “While we have no doubts in the board’s ability to locate and recruit a strong successor, we could see the stock potentially in a holding pattern in the meantime,” said SunTrust Bank gaming analyst Barry Jonas. That might be the case for several months.