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Executive who helped CityCenter stay afloat leaves MGM Mirage

21 December 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Gary Jacobs, one of the key MGM Mirage executives who helped resolve the company's financial issues surrounding CityCenter and its corporate matters this year, has resigned from the casino operator.

MGM Mirage announced the resignation Friday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Jacobs had served as the company's president of corporate strategy, general counsel and secretary. He was also a member of MGM Mirage's board of directors.

The resignation was effective Tuesday, the day before the grand opening of Aria, the centerpiece of the $8.5 billion CityCenter project. Jacobs attended the opening ceremonies for Aria on Wednesday morning and was seen at the VIP celebration that evening.

No reason was given for the resignation in the SEC filing. MGM Mirage officials would not comment beyond the filing.

Under a separation agreement, Jacobs, 64, will receive $3 million over the next 21/2 years and is entitled to exercise his vested but unexercised stock options and stock appreciation rights.

Jacobs joined MGM Mirage in 2000 as general counsel after spending 12 years as a senior partner of a Los Angeles law firm. He had been in private practice since 1971.

Jacobs was credited as one of the key executives who helped resolve CityCenter's financial crisis, which heightened in March when joint venture partner Dubai World sued MGM Mirage over the project.

In an interview in June, Jacobs said solving CityCenter's funding problems was key to keeping MGM Mirage from falling into bankruptcy.

"If CityCenter went bankrupt, it would not have only been a horrible situation for Las Vegas, but it would have complicated the corporate issues," Jacobs said.

MGM Mirage struck a new joint venture agreement with Dubai World to fund CityCenter. About a month later, the company completed a $2.6 billion corporate recapitalization.

He said it was never clear what direction would be taken to resolve the CityCenter issue.

"It was kind of like going down a river, but you would hit one set of rapids, then you hit another set of rapids, and another and then another one. It was nonstop," Jacobs said.

Executive who helped CityCenter stay afloat leaves MGM Mirage is republished from