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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Slot machine maker IGT expands board by two members

6 August 2013

Five months after a contentious proxy fight threatened to shake up IGT - International Game Technology’s board of directors, the company announced it has expanded the governing panel by two members.

In separate statements released Friday, the slot machine giant said two new members, both with experience in the technology sector, have been appointed to the board. The elections give IGT a 10-person board.

The moves follow resolution of a proxy fight in March. Analyst-turned-investor Jason Ader sought to elect three candidates to IGT’s eight-person board, replacing three other members. Only Daniel Silvers, an executive with Ader’s investment firm, was elected.

IGT Chairman Phil Satre said Monday the board expansion was planned last fall, but was put on hold when the proxy fight “interrupted” the process.

Satre said most New York Stock Exchange companies the size of IGT have eight or nine independent directors. The new appointments give the slot machine maker nine independent directors and one inside the company director, Chief Executive Officer Patti Hart.

“It’s much more optimal and much more efficient for a company of our size to have a board of this size,” Satre said of IGT, which has a market capitalization of almost $5 billion. “Once the proxy contest concluded, we re-started the process and identified people with the criteria we had established.”

Satre said the company wanted to add board members with backgrounds who understood “the technology convergence taking place between digital and traditional business.”

IGT announced Friday that Tracey Weber and Eric Brown were added to the board.

Weber was CitiBank’s managing director for three years, overseeing the company’s North American digital and initiatives. Weber also held several high-level management roles at from 2002 through 2010.

Brown, currently the COO-CFO of Polycom Inc., is also on the board of Electronics for Imaging. He has more than 20 years of experience in the software, gaming and technology.

“Tracey’s operational experience in the digital world will enrich our board, helping to guide the company’s global convergence strategy and to position us for future growth,” Satre said.

As for Brown, Satre said, “Eric’s exposure to international markets and his proven leadership allocating capital towards the creation of shareholder value will be a great asset to our board.”

On July 1, IGT announced the company and Ader had settled their simmering differences. Ader agreed to a standstill provision for four years and IGT agreed to reimburse his costs related to the proxy fight, up to $2.5 million.

IGT and Ader agreed to a statement that was complimentary to each other and supportive of IGT’s management team.

Shares of IGT closed at $19.25 on Monday, down 4 cents or 0.21 percent.
Slot machine maker IGT expands board by two members is republished from