ames B. Perry’s retirement comes two years after Trump plucked him out of retirement to lead his embattled casino company after it emerged from a second bankruptcy in May 2005. Perry, a former CEO of Argosy Gaming Co., was brought on board alongside Mark Juliano, the former president of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, to give the Trump casinos an overhaul and restore confidence among Trump shareholders.
Shares of Trump Entertainment Resorts took a pounding yesterday after Perry’s announcement. Shares closed at us$ 14.61 on the Nasdaq, down us$ 1.30 or 8 percent. Trump acknowledged last week that the leading bidder for his company was a private-equity firm led by Dennis Gomes, a former president of the Trump Taj Mahal, and New York real state magnate Morris Bailey.
A person familiar with the negotiations between Trump and the private-equity firm led by Gomes said Perry was pushed out by Trump and other members of the five-member board of directors because of his opposition to a sale. Trump controls two of the five seats. Perry was the only Trump board member to oppose a sale of the company to Gomes and Bailey, according to the person familiar with the negotiations.
Trump announced Perry’s departure at his 61st birthday party Saturday at the Taj Mahal. Trump told the crowd that Juliano, his chief operating officer, was getting "a promotion" to acting CEO.
In his statement yesterday, Perry said that his retirement stemmed from a desire to return to his family in California and that it was effective July 1.
Barbara Cappaert, a high-yield bond analyst with KDP Investment Advisors Inc., of Montpelier, said the move eliminated a power struggle for the top spot to run the three Trump Atlantic City casinos if a private-equity firm purchased the company.
Gomes has indicated his interest in overseeing casino operations if his partnership with Bailey prevails in buying the firm. "Trump has decided to be part of this game," Cappaert said. "He wants to appear as dictating the terms of a deal and not be a passive player."