BUSINESS

Kazuo Okada defends board nominations, cites Wynn’s “shady” motives for action

TAGs: Kazuo Okada, Legal, Steve Wynn, Wynn Resorts

kazuo okada steve wynnThe ongoing fight between Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada and his American counterpart Steve Wynn has taken yet another turn into the realm of soap opera. As if this feud hasn’t had enough of it, the latest salvo was thrown by Okada after he stepped up efforts in electing two new members on the board of directors of Wynn Resorts.

Okada’s contention – and the reason why he elected the two new board members – surrounded the board’s lack of initiative in preventing Wynn from making what the Japanese tycoon calls as “questionable actions” done by his former BFF for his “personal, financial, and control goals.”

The Japanese tycoon even pointed to the company’s failure in grabbing the bull by its proverbial horns, as evidenced by the company’s steep stock decline that has come as a result of his one-time partner’s lackluster leadership skills. “This loss of confidence has resulted from a history of poor corporate governance and questionable actions under the direction of Steve Wynn,” Okada said.

The two individuals Okada elected to become the new members of Wynn Resorts’ board of governors have been identified as Yale law professor Jonathan Macey and Fredric Reynolds, who once served as chief financial officer for CBS Corp.

Okada once controlled the largest share of Wynn Resorts, but his 20% stake was forcibly stripped by Wynn after he determined his Japanese partner had violated US anti-corruption laws. Turns out, Mr. Kazuo hasn’t backed down from this fight, filing a defamation suit against Wynn in Japan for stripping him of his shares in the company. And since courts have not yet made a decision on this billion-dollar cat fight, Okada argues that his board nominating privileges still hold some weight within the company.

With this belief, and with growing resentment towards Wynn’s alleged substandard business practices, Okada is hoping to seat two allies in the company’s board of directors. Whether this plan works or backfires is probably still chapters away from being written, but it certainly shows that Okada isn’t backing down by any means from this fight.

One thing we do know is that this fight is far from finished. Expect more lawsuits lobbed in the other party’s direction akin to a soap opera that gives birth to new story lines by the episode. Don’t change the channel on this one because you might end up missing the part where these two eventually headline WrestleMania 30.

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