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AUSTRALIA -- Aristocrat Technologies President Gavin Isaacs, who is credited with helping turn around the American fortunes of the Australian-based slot machine company, resigned over the weekend.
In a statement released from company headquarters in Sidney, Australia, Isaacs said he will remain at the company's American headquarters in Las Vegas until Aug. 31.
Isaacs said Monday his contract with Aristocrat expired and the company wanted him to return to Australia.
"Short and sweet, it was as simple as that," Isaacs said. "The company wanted me to come back to the head office and I'm hoping to stay in America and stay involved in the gaming industry. I have a few options and, hopefully, we'll announce something shortly."
Aristocrat, Australia's largest slot maker, experienced a bumpy start when it expanded to the United States in 2001. Isaacs, who became president of the American division in 2003, helped steer a steady growth in sales and profits.
In 2005, Aristocrat's American division was responsible for 41 percent of the company's overall gross profits and 42 percent of its overall revenue.
In 2005, the American division's sales revenues grew 35.5 percent compared with 2004 and profit was up 78.2 percent in the same time period.
Gaming analysts who follow the equipment manufacturers said Isaacs' departure hurts Aristocrat as the company continues to challenge Reno-based International Gaming Technology and other American slot makers for market share.
"This is definitely a blow to Aristocrat," Morgan Joseph gaming analyst Adam Steinberg said.
Jefferies & Co. gaming analyst Aimee Marcel said: "Gavin did a great job for Aristocrat."
In a statement, Aristocrat Chief Executive Officer Paul Oneile said Isaacs would help choose his successor.
Isaacs joined Aristocrat in 1998 and helped secure the company's Nevada gaming license in 1999.
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