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The Star CEO resigns amidst ongoing reforms


Australian gaming operator The Star has announced that its CEO Robbie Cooke is resigning, with the group’s Chairman David Foster to take on his responsibilities as the company seeks a new executive for the role.

According to a Friday release, ‘Mr. Cooke and the board consider a change in leadership to be in the best interests of the company at this time,’ noting that ‘the continuation of Mr. Cooke’s leadership of the group was not going to be conducive to the New South Wales Independent Casino Commission determining to find The Star capable of becoming suitable to hold a casino license’.

Speaking of the update, gaming expert Ben Lee notes that “This development could not come at a worse time for Star with the second inquiry in the background. However, it also provides them with the opportunity to place new leadership, particularly one that can bring in transformational changes to get them out of the rut they appear to be in.”

The Star came under a second Bell Inquiry in February, with the consequences including a possible loss of its Sydney casino license, as authorities doubt whether its reform efforts have been comprehensive enough.

Robbie Cooke noted that his move to step down is “exceptionally disappointing” but that his continuation in the role “is not going to be conducive to the NICC determining to find The Star capable of becoming suitable to hold a casino license in NSW”.

Cooke will remain as a consultant for the company for six months, ‘to enable an orderly leadership transition and provide continuity across business activities’.

Additionally, the company has announced that its Chief Financial Officer Christina Katsibouba has also resigned, to be replaced in the interim period by financial executive Neale O’Connell.

Kelsey Wilhelm
Kelsey Wilhelm
Kelsey Wilhelm is a broadcast, print journalist and editor based in Asia for over 15 years. Focused on content creation, management, cross-cultural exchange and interviews for multi-lingual productions. Writing focus on gaming, business, politics, culture and heritage, events and celebrities, subcultures, music, film, art and fashion. Some of Kelsey's specialties are: editing, writing, copy creation, multi-lingual content production, cross-cultural exchange, content creation and management for Asian markets.