Leadership changes

SkyCity Entertainment appoints Avril Baynes as Interim COO amidst David Christian's departure

Avril Baynes, SkyCity Entertainment Group's Australia interim Chief Operating Officer (COO)
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SkyCity Entertainment Group has undergone changes in its executive leadership as the company announced the appointment of Avril Baynes as its Australia interim Chief Operating Officer (COO) following the resignation of long-time staffer David Christian.

David Christian, who has been with SkyCity for nearly two decades, has resigned from his role as COO of Australia. Throughout his tenure, Christian held various senior positions within the company. The resignation will take effect on 12 April 2024. Julian Cook, SkyCity’s Board Chair, thanked Christian for his “tireless efforts and dedication."

He joined SkyCity in 2005 as the General Manager of SkyCity Hamilton and later assumed roles in Auckland and Adelaide casinos. Christian then became the Group Gaming Consultant between October 2014 and August 2015. In June 2016, he returned to various General Manager positions across SkyCity’s casinos before being appointed as COO of Australia in February 2021.  

SkyCity Interim CEO Callum Mallet said: “David has held a number of senior roles during his career with SkyCity since joining in 2005 and has led the SkyCity Adelaide business through a very challenging and demanding period, demonstrating strong leadership and resilience.” 

Avril Baynes, the newly appointed Interim COO Australia, brings a wealth of experience to her new role. Currently serving as the General Manager of Hospitality at SkyCity Adelaide, Baynes has a proven track record in the industry, notes the company.

Prior to her tenure at SkyCity Adelaide, she held the position of General Manager at the Mindil Beach Casino Resort in Darwin, Australia. Baynes is set to officially assume her new role in mid-April, transitioning into her responsibilities as Christian departs.

Christian's resignation comes amidst other changes within SkyCity's executive team. CEO Michael Ahearne announced his decision to step down from his role in October. Additionally, the company appointed Andrew McPherson as its new Chief Information Officer last month, further reshaping its leadership team.


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