s Executive Chairman, Bill Boyd will remain actively involved with the strategic direction and vision of the company, while providing more time for him to focus on customer and employee relations. In addition to chairing the company’s Board of Directors, he will also remain as a member of the company’s Management Committee.
Boyd Gaming Chief Financial Officer Paul J. Chakmak will succeed Smith as Chief Operating Officer, also effective January 1, 2008. The company intends to begin a search for Chakmak’s successor in the near future.
Commenting on Keith Smith’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer, Bill Boyd said, "Keith has been a key player in the growth and success of our company over the last 17 years. His talent as a senior executive, his vision and leadership skills, and his 25 years of experience in our business, give me every confidence that he is the right person to take Boyd Gaming to the next level. Most importantly, Keith understands and supports the culture that has come to define and differentiate our company over the last 30 years.”
Commenting on Paul Chakmak’s appointment, Boyd added, "Since joining our company in 2004, Paul has quickly established himself as a valuable member of our senior management team. His familiarity with our company and industry make him the ideal candidate to succeed Keith in the Chief Operating Officer role. I look forward to working closely with the both of them in the years to come."
Smith was named President of Boyd Gaming in 2005 and has been Chief Operating Officer since 2001. He joined the Company as Corporate Controller in 1990, and was promoted to Senior Vice President, and subsequently Executive Vice President of Operations in 1998. Smith has more than 25 years of experience in the industry, including various executive positions with Aztar Corporation.
Chakmak joined Boyd Gaming in 2004 as Senior Vice President Finance and Treasurer. He was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in June 2006. Previously, he was a senior member of CIBC World Markets’ West Coast Leveraged Finance Group, where he led the firm’s debt origination and structuring group for various sectors, including the gaming, lodging and leisure industries. Chakmak has more than 18 years of banking experience.
Discussing his new role, Boyd added, "Our close bond with our employees and our guests has always been an important element to our culture and our success, and in my new position, I will now have more time to interact with both."