Philip Satre will retire as
chairman of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. , effective January 1, 2005, the
company announced today. Gary Loveman will succeed Satre as chairman,
while retaining his positions as president and chief executive officer. Satre’s retirement is a planned transition, with the change coinciding
with the expiration of his two-year contract as chairman of the board.
“Gary’s promotion to chairman completes a transition that began two years
ago with his promotion to CEO,” Satre said. “Harrah’s has flourished under
his leadership, and the company now stands on the verge of an exciting new
chapter as the Caesars Entertainment, Inc. acquisition moves toward
completion. There is no better time for me to hand the chairman’s post to
a new person, and there is no leader more capable and qualified to assume
this role than Gary Loveman.”
“Phil Satre built on company founder Bill Harrah’s legacy to make Harrah’s
the most powerful brand in gaming,” Loveman said. “Under Phil’s direction,
Harrah’s has grown from four casinos to 28 and become the most
geographically diverse and profitable company in the gaming industry.
Phil’s vision led to the creation of Harrah’s industry-leading
player-loyalty and customer relationship marketing capabilities. He led
this company through successful acquisitions while maintaining the
strongest balance sheet in the industry and building Harrah’s into a
Fortune 500 company. And he established Harrah’s reputation for corporate
responsibility, particularly in the arena of responsible gaming.
“Phil has created a strong foundation for our company that prepares us
well for an exciting new era of growth,” Loveman said. “As Chairman and
CEO, I will strive to continue his tradition of leadership and service to
our players, employees, investors and partners in our communities. I know
he will remain a friend and advisor to Harrah’s in the years to come.”
Satre joined Harrah’s in 1980 as vice president, general counsel and
secretary. He was named president and CEO of Harrah’s Gaming Group in
1984, and joined the company’s board of directors in 1988. He was named
CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment in 1994, and elected chairman in 1997.
Over his 25-year career, Satre was recognized on numerous occasions as one
of the gaming industry’s top executives, culminating with his induction in
the American Gaming Association’s Gaming Hall of Fame in 2003. He was
named one of the nation’s top CEOs in 2002 by Chief Executive magazine,
“Gaming Executive of the Year” by Casino Journal magazine, and best chief
executive in the hotel and casino industries by The Wall Street
Transcript. He was the first recipient of the Robert L. Custer Award from
the National Council on Problem Gambling for his leadership role in
addressing problem gambling. He served as chairman of the American Gaming
Association and as a founding board member of the National Center for
Loveman joined Harrah’s as chief operating officer in 1998, and was named
the company’s president shortly thereafter. During his tenure as COO,
Loveman spearheaded the creation of the Total Rewards program, the first
nationwide, multi-property customer loyalty program in the gaming
industry. He was promoted to chief executive officer on January 1, 2003.
In early 2004, Loveman was recognized by Institutional Investor magazine
as “Best CEO” in the gaming and lodging industries, based on the votes of
industry analysts and investment portfolio managers.