The Venetian said Thursday that George Markantonis is leaving his role as President and Chief Executive Officer. Patrick Nichols, who began his career with The Venetian and is currently the General Manager & Chief Strategy Officer at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, will replace him in both roles, effective August 1. Markantonis, who had joined the company in 2015, will continue to serve as CEO until that time, and then he will assume the role of special advisor to the board.
The company, which includes The Venetian Resort Las Vegas and The Venetian Expo, is owned by New York-based investment firm Apollo Global Management. In February, Las Vegas Sands completed the sale of The Venetian Resort assets (The Venetian, Palazzo and Venetian Expo) for approximately $6.25 billion to their new owners —affiliates of Apollo and VICI Properties.
Under Markantonis’ leadership, The Venetian had five record-breaking years. “We heartily thank George for his steadfast service to The Venetian and its Team Members and wish him only the best in the next phase of his career,” said David Sambur, Apollo Partner and Co-Head of Private Equity, in a press release Thursday. “As we continue to solidify The Venetian’s position as a premier destination on the Las Vegas strip, we are confident that Patrick’s significant experience in operating and expanding entertainment, hospitality and group events businesses will continue to build on the solid foundation created under George’s leadership and capably carried on by this industry leading team.”
Markantonis commented: “Our Team Members have established The Venetian as a permanent fixture on the Strip and a destination of choice for our guests, and I am incredibly proud to have led such a talented organization over the last seven years. This past May was the best month in The Venetian’s history, and I look forward to seeing the Resort’s continued success. Patrick is an exceptional executive, and I am confident he is the right person to carry on our long-term objectives and deliver an unmatched experience for our valued customers and employees.”
Nichols started his career as a Financial Analyst with The Venetian between 2008 and 2009. He has worked in the Las Vegas hospitality industry for his entire career, including a position at Marina Bay Sands, and most recently serving as the General Manager and Chief Strategy Officer at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. As CSO, he led development, construction, retail and entertainment operations, financial planning and analysis, and new business development. Prior to serving as CSO, Nichols held a number of operational and strategic planning roles of increasing responsibility.
“I am excited to return to The Venetian and lead one of the most iconic Las Vegas resorts during such a pivotal moment for our city,” said Nichols. “Under George’s leadership, The Venetian has become one of the premier resorts across hospitality, meetings and events, gaming, and entertainment – not only in Las Vegas, but across the country. I have seen firsthand how talented The Venetian team is, and I look forward to working together with our best-in-class management team and our partners at Apollo to drive the Resort’s next phase of growth.”
“The Venetian’s strategy is resonating with experience-driven customers in a post-COVID world, and the Resort has never been stronger with performance exceeding pre-pandemic levels,” added Apollo Partner, Daniel Cohen. “We continue to see a number of exciting opportunities in the market, and I am looking forward to working closely with Patrick and the team to execute on our shared vision.”