The Board of Directors of Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:PPE) today announced the appointment of Thomas E. Gallagher as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Gallagher (55) succeeds Arthur M. Goldberg as head of the world`s largest casino gaming company. Mr. Goldberg died unexpectedly on October 19, 2000.
A veteran of the gaming and lodging industries, Mr. Gallagher was most recently Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Hilton Hotels Corporation (NYSE:HLT) having joined that company in 1997. While at Hilton, he was involved extensively in the company`s gaming operations, serving as its principal representative with gaming regulators in both domestic and foreign jurisdictions. He had a major role in the planning and execution of both the 1998 spin-off of those operations, in the transaction that created Park Place, and the acquisition of Grand Casinos, Inc. by Park Place.
From 1992 to 1997 he was President and Chief Executive Officer of The Griffin Group Inc., the New York and Beverly Hills-based investment and management company for all of Merv Griffin`s hotel, gaming, entertainment and media operations and investments, including its controlling stake in two publicly traded gaming affiliates, Griffin Gaming and Entertainment (Amex:GGE) and Players International Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAY), both based in Atlantic City, New Jersey. From 1995 to 1996 he served as President and CEO of GGE (formerly Resorts International Inc.), as well as a member of the Board of Directors and chairman of its executive committee, until the acquisition of the company by Sun International Hotels, Ltd. in December 1996. Other accomplishments at the Griffin Group included the acquisition and development of a sun-belt oriented group of upscale hotels and resorts and oversight of an extensive group of broadcast stations as well as film and entertainment projects.
“Tom Gallagher is an outstanding seasoned executive who brings great leadership skills and a thorough knowledge of the gaming, hospitality and entertainment industries to his new position. He will do an excellent job of leading Park Place in further strengthening its preeminent position in the gaming industry,” said Stephen F. Bollenbach, Chairman of Park Place.
Commenting on his new responsibilities, Mr. Gallagher stated, “Arthur Goldberg and I knew and respected each other for many years, beginning in the early 1990`s in Atlantic City. I am saddened by his untimely death, but I am energized by the opportunity to lead the number one company in this dynamic industry. More importantly, I look forward to doing that with a team of superbly talented senior executives, each of whom I have known and worked closely with during the past few years. We have an equally strong group of leaders at each of our gaming properties. They are the core of the strength of our company. Many of them I have also known and worked with in the past few years. I look forward to meeting with them in the coming weeks.”
In addition to Mr. Gallagher`s experience in the gaming, lodging and entertainment industries, prior to joining Griffin, he was for fifteen years a partner in the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, practicing in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and international transactions. During his career at the firm, he was a partner in the firm`s New York and Los Angeles offices, was the founder and managing partner of its London office, and served as managing partner in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for several years.
Beyond his extensive business and professional experience, Mr. Gallagher also has significant governmental experience, having served as chief legislative counsel in Washington to U.S. Senator John V. Tunney (California) during the early 1970`s, where he was responsible for issues before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the handling of appointments of United States Attorneys and federal judges.
Mr. Gallagher graduated magna cum laude from Holy Cross College and earned his law degree with honors from Harvard Law School. Mr. Gallagher and his wife, Mary Kay, have four adult children and two grandchildren.