Longtime casino executive Satre will help put out the fire at Wynn Resorts By John L. Smith, CDC Gaming Reports August 6, 2018 at 8:00 pm A construction fire that started Sunday morning at Encore Boston Harbor could have been devastating, but fast action quickly extinguished the flames. Still, the smoky symbolism was impossible to miss.Big trouble of another kind has smoldered at the $2.5 billion Wynn Resorts casino hotel project for months since the company was turned upside down after sexual misconduct accusations surfaced in January against company co-founder and Chairman Steve Wynn. A flurry of ugly allegations later, Wynn was ousted, and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission made it clear the company’s status in the commonwealth was in peril unless dramatic changes were made. Led by the efforts of Elaine Wynn, the news at Wynn Resorts has been nothing short of amazing: One part purge, one part hyper-evolution of the corporate culture. As first reported by CDC Gaming Reports, that sea change continues this week with the announcement in an Aug. 3 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Phil Satre has been named the company’s new chairman. In stepping down from his current role as chairman of International Game Technology, Satre will replace D. Boone Wayson, a Wynn family friend and business associate, in 2019. Satre’s current title is vice chairman. Wayson will remain on a board of directors that bears little resemblance to the previous leadership. Naming Satre was an inspired choice. The longtime business executive and former Harrah’s Entertainment chairman and CEO offers more than experience and expertise he gained in helping to make Harrah’s an industry leader. He brings maturity, credibility and stability to the company at just the right time. New Wynn Resorts Vice Chairman Phil SatreThe selection of Satre also suits the Wynn Resorts’ co-founder and largest stockholder, Elaine Wynn, who according to the SEC filing has reached a settlement related to the 2018 negotiations, will receive up to $5 million for her out-of-pocket expenses, and has agreed not to press for more major changes to the corporate structure and board in the coming months as Satre settles in. If there was a victory lap in her nasty battle with her ex-husband over voting control of her own stock, this is undoubtedly it. “This appointment is the result of a collaborative effort with co-founder Elaine Wynn, which I believe will serve as the beginning of a constructive and unified effort by all parties to move the company forward,” Wayson said in a statement. It may have taken nothing less than such decisive action to save the company’s Encore Boston Harbor project. When gaming regulators are so disgusted by alleged transgressions they make a licensee change the name on the building, you’ve got problems that only swift and decisive action can resolve. Speaking of dangerous flames, Wynn officials recently have had to knock down rumors that it might be forced to sell the resort scheduled to open next year due to fallout from the sexual misconduct scandal. By any reasonable measure, naming Satre to lead the company does that. The Massachusetts commission has been closely monitoring developments and has put the company through substantial paces with an emphasis on progressive hiring and workplace protections that ought to set a gaming industry standard well outside the Boston project. Satre’s resignation from IGT offers insight to the respect he engenders. In thanking Satre for his leadership, the company’s vice chairman Lorenzo Pellicioli in a press statement offered, “He successfully guided the company through a transformational merger that created the largest gaming company in the world. We wish him continued success as he takes on a new role at Wynn Resorts.” For the record, that fire at the Encore Boston Harbor was started by a welder’s spark that drifted from the upper reaches of the building onto the fourth-floor roof, according to published reports. Swift action on the job site snuffed the flames before firefighters arrived. Symbolism aside, consider Phil Satre the fire chief in this story. Contact John L. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @jlnevadasmith.