he company declined to comment on the reasons for the departure. Warner will be replaced by Kevin Kelley, a senior vice president at the Las Vegas Sands Corp., who previously worked for Station Casinos as president of westside operations.
"Kevin Kelley is a very seasoned executive who’s had lots of experience in the local Las Vegas market," Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Andrew Zarnett said. "It’s clear the company will continue on without missing a beat."
Kelley returns to Station Casinos after leaving the company in January 2003 to take the position of Hard Rock Hotel’s president and chief operating officer. He first joined Station Casinos in August 1993 after stints at the Golden Nugget and the Las Vegas Hilton.
Kelley joined Las Vegas Sands Corp. in July 2006 and has worked in that company’s Macau properties. Warner’s departure was preceded by the retirement of company Chief Financial Officer Glenn Christenson in March, who left after 17 years.
Warner’s resignation comes six weeks after the company’s us$ 5.4 billion management-led buyout was completed and its stock stopped trading on the New York Stock Exchange. He cashed out us$ 43.8 million in Station Casinos stock options at us$ 90 per share when the deal closed, according to federal filings.
Christenson, who remains as a consultant with the company, cashed out approximately us$ 52 million in stock options. Departures like Warners often happen after companies go through a major transition such as a merger or buyout where top executives have earned a large payday.
"They re-evaluate their careers and, in some cases, temporarily or permanently retire to figure out what they want to do next with their lives," Zarnett said. "There’s no difference between what executives at other companies that receive a lot of money do than what is happening at Station Casinos."
Warner was appointed to his current position in July 2004 after 11 years with the company. He joined Station Casinos as finance director in August 1993 and was promoted to vice president of finance in January 1996.
He became the company’s chief development officer in March 2002 when he also gained the title of executive vice president. Warner also played a primary role in the recent buyout. He was one of three top executives who worked with Chairman and CEO Frank Fertitta III and Vice-Chairman President Lorenzo Fertitta on the deal as early as August 2006.
Station Casinos is now privately held by a joint venture between the Fertitta family and Colony Capital, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm.