Gaming Strategy
Featured Stories
Legal News Financial News Casino Opening and Remodeling News Gaming Industry Executives Author Home Author Archives Search Articles Subscribe
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Amanda Finnegan

Sands president begins early, earning base of $2 million

18 March 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Las Vegas Sands board member Michael Leven has taken his position as president and chief operating officer earlier than expected, the company announced in a Securities and Exchange filing on Tuesday.

Las Vegas Sands announced that Leven entered into an employment contract and became president and COO on March 11, rather than the previously announced date of April 1.

The SEC filing also showed Leven will receive an annual base salary of $2 million and will be eligible to receive an annual bonus of 50 percent of his base salary, based on his performance. Leven also has been granted the option to purchase 3 million shares of Las Vegas Sands Corp. stock with an additional 1 million in January 2010.

Leven's appointment came last week when the company announced the departure of former president and chief operating officer William Weidner.

"The company believes that the March 4, 2009, meeting with Mr. Weidner served as notice to Mr. Weidner that he would no longer be employed by the company,' Las Vegas Sands said in a regulatory filing.

Weidner noted in his resignation letter he has had and continues to have differences with chairman and chief executive officer Sheldon Adelson about the management of the company.

Last week, another Las Vegas Sands director resigned. James Purcell has said he disagreed with the board's decision to terminate Weidner's employment and appoint Leven in his spot.

Earlier Tuesday, Standard and Poor's Ratings Services downgraded the company's corporate credit rating from 'B' to 'B-' with an outlook of negative.

S&P said it expects Las Vegas Sands to face a substantial liquidity shortfall in 2010 and will likely violate agreements under its Macau credit facility by September if the company does not sell noncore assets in Macau..

The company last month reported a fourth quarter net loss of $111.3 million or 27 cents per share, compared to a profit in the 2007 quarter of $39.9 million or 11 cents. Net revenues for the fourth quarter increased 4.3 percent to $1.09 billion.