MGM’s Hornbuckle named permanent president and CEO

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Steve Marcus

Bill Hornbuckle, president and acting CEO at MGM Resorts International, applauds as guests arrive during the reopening of Excalibur Thursday, June 11, 2020.

Published Wed, Jul 29, 2020 (3:52 p.m.)

Updated Wed, Jul 29, 2020 (4:55 p.m.)

Bill Hornbuckle has been named permanent CEO and president of MGM Resorts International.

Hornbuckle, a longtime MGM employee who has served as acting CEO since Jim Murren retired in March, stepped into the role today, the company’s board of directors announced.

Hornbuckle’s promotion came after a national search, the board said.

“The board unanimously concluded that Bill is the best candidate to lead MGM Resorts through these immensely challenging times and into a more promising future,” Chairman Paul Salem in the statement.

Hornbuckle takes over at a time the travel and tourism industries have been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. Air travel to Las Vegas in June was down nearly 77% from the same month last year, while the statewide “gaming win” was off 45.5%

In Nevada, casinos statewide were shut down in mid-March to help slow the spread of the virus and were only allowed to start reopening with restrictions June 4.

“I am honored to lead this company as we look toward long-term recovery, future growth and opportunity,” Hornbuckle said in a statement. “In doing so, I am especially mindful of the thousands of MGM Resorts employees who have been profoundly impacted by the current circumstances. Their dedication to the company’s mission and safety allows guests from around the world to experience moments of happiness and hospitality amid uncertain times.”

Hornbuckle said he is “incredibly optimistic” about the company’s long-term future. “We will remain focused on taking care of our guests and each other as we look toward our best days ahead,” he said.

A UNLV graduate and a four-decade gaming industry veteran, Hornbuckle previously served as chief operating officer at Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand. He was also president of Caesars Palace for a time.

Salem said Hornbuckle's "seasoned global experience, depth of knowledge and steady hand have provided reassurance and confidence to our employees, partners, guests and shareholders during one of the most difficult periods in the history of our company.”

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