Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Billings Leads Wynn Resorts Execs Swapping Salary For Stock

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Posted on: May 22, 2022, 03:17h. 

Last updated on: May 22, 2022, 03:17h.

Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) CEO Craig Billings is among the high-ranking executives at the gaming company taking reductions in 2022 cash salary in exchange for shares of the casino operator.

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Wynn Interactive CEO Craig Billings (right) in a 2021 interview with Bloomberg. He’s among executives at the company taking salary cuts in exchange for stock. (Image: Bloomberg)

A batch of Form 4 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released earlier this month indicate Wynn initiated a “voluntary” program for certain employees of the company and Wynn Macau — its China arm — to reduce 2022 salaries in exchange for an equivalent amount of equity.

In recognition of the significant portion of Wynn Resorts’ NEOs’ roles related to the oversight and supervision of our Macau Operations, Mr. Billings voluntarily reduced the cash amount of his base salary for the remainder of 2022 by 35% in exchange for a grant of an equivalent value of options to acquire Wynn Resorts, Limited common stock. Such options shall vest in full on December 31, 2022. Should Mr. Billings leave his employment prior to December 31, 2022 for any reason, the options shall vest on a pro-rata basis,” according to the filing.

The regulatory document indicates that on May 11, Billings acquired 21,803 shares of his employer’s equity by way of options. Those options are excercisable on Dec. 31, 2022 and expire on May 11, 2025.

News of the salary reduction/stock compensation plan comes as Wynn, like so many gaming equities, is getting drilled this year. Amid an ongoing slump in its marquee market of Macau, Wynn is off almost 26% year-to-date and 54% over the past year.

Other Wynn Directors, Execs Join Party

Billings assumed the top spot at Wynn in February, succeeding Matt Maddox and the new chief executive officer appears to be setting an example for his colleagues as other directors and executives are participating in the salary-for-stock swap.

For example, a Form 4 filing confirms board member Darnell Strom agreed to a 33% reduction in 2022 salary in exchange for 475 options. Director Winfred Webb is waiving the remainder of 2022 salary in exchange for 1,643 shares of Wynn stock.

Ellen Whittemore, general counsel and executive vice president at the Las Vegas-based company, is taking a 33% cut to the remainder of her 2022 salary while accepting 10,383 shares, according to a regulatory document. Director Phillip Satre waived the remainder of his 2022 salary and will receive 3,251 Wynn shares as a result. Julie Cameron–Doe, who replaced Billings as chief financial officer, is participating in the program as well.

“Ms. Cameron-Doe voluntarily reduced the cash amount of her base salary for the remainder of 2022 by 33% in exchange for a grant of an equivalent value of options to acquire Wynn Resorts, Limited common stock. Such options shall vest in full on December 31, 2022. Should Ms. Cameron-Doe leave her employment prior to December 31, 2022 for any reason, the options shall vest on a pro-rata basis,” according to a Form 4.

Director Betsy Atkins is declining 100% of her remaining 2022 salary in exchange for 1,677 shares.

Not the First Time Wynn Has Done This

This isn’t the first time the Encore Boston Harbor operator has used a salary-for-stock plan to reflect executives’ confidence in the battered shares.

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the operator revealed then CEO Maddox would forego 100 percent of his 2020 cash salary, opting to be compensated entirely in equity.

Other Wynn executives and some board members followed suit, taking cash salary reductions ranging from 33 percent to 100 percent in exchange for stock.

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