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Caesars Entertainment Names New CEO Amid Rumors Of Impeding Company Sale

Carl Icahn-Approved Anthony Rodio Replaces Outgoing CEO Mark Frissora


Anthony Rodio will take over as CEO of Caesars Entertainment, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Rodio, currently serving as CEO of Affinity Gaming, will replace current CEO Mark Frissora. The move is expected to be announced early this week.

The change in leadership stems from the wishes of billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who now owns about 18 percent of the gaming giant. Icahn first divulged his holdings in the company earlier this year and has been vocal about getting rid of Frissora and selling the company.

Icahn and Caesars struck a deal in March. Caesars appointed three new members to the board, all of whom were a part of the Icahn Group, effectively giving Icahn more say in the direction of the company. Caesars also granted the Icahn Group the right to appoint another new board member if an Icahn-approved CEO was not named in the next 45 days.

Around that same time, Reuters reported that Icahn was pushing for Rodio to become the new CEO.

Rodio has a history of working with Icahn. He was the CEO of Tropicana Entertainment when it was sold by Icahn to Eldorado Resorts for $1.85 billion.

Icahn has similar plans for Caesars. There are several reports citing that Caesars is on the brink of a sale to either Eldorado Resorts or Golden Nugget. Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Golden Nugget, and representatives of Eldorado Resorts have been given access to Caesars’ financial records.

It is also expected that Caesars will announce that it formed a committee to work with bankers to evaluate takeover interest. Local Las Vegas media is reporting that the sale of Caesars could happen this week.

Caesars Entertainment is the parent company of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, which owns the World Series of Poker brand. Until the sale is finalized and the details are released, it is unknown how the sale would affect the world’s largest poker tournament series.