Australian-listed casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd. has tapped the services of former federal Finance Department secretary Jane Halton and ex-Aristocrat Chief Finance Officer Toni Karsanos as its newest board members.
The appointment of the two women in the Crown board comes at a troubling time when the embattled casino operator is facing controversies left and right, including the supposed slot-machine ‘tampering’ issue and slumping revenues as a result of the arrest of Crown staffers in China last year.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald report, Crown has appointed both Halton and Karasanos as non-executive directors of the Crown board. This brings the number of women on the Crown board to three.
Halton, considered one of the most powerful women in the history of Australian public service, truly has an impressive resume: she has been in the public service for 33 years, holding key positions in Australia’s Department of Health and Ageing, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Finance Department.
She is also the former director of ANZ Banking Group and prominent law firm Clayton Utz. Halton will take her seat in the Crown board upon the receipt of regulatory approvals.
Karkasanos will reportedly join the board in March after fulfilling her duties in Aristocrat.
“Jane will bring extensive experience in finance, risk management, information technology, human resources and public policy. Toni has extensive experience in the gaming industry and will also bring experience in the areas of technology, finance, strategy, risk management and financial and regulatory compliance,” Crown executive chairman John Alexander said. “The addition of Jane and Toni will enhance the expertise and diversity of the Crown board.”
Crown has been trying to find its business footing since the start of the year after a sharp decline in its gambling business. The Australian-listed firm started with the sale of its stake in the Melco Crown Entertainment joint venture, which operates casinos in Macau and Manila.
The sale, according to the company, was part of the company’s new strategy of focusing on its domestic resorts. Billionaire James Packer, who is Crown’s largest shareholder, also returned to the company’s board this year.