Lawrence Ho aiming to diversify Melco Crown assets

Lawrence Ho aiming to diversify Melco Crown assets

Monday, January 9, 2017
Plans to re-energise MCE business focus on non-gaming ideas

As Lawrence Ho takes a higher equity in Asian gambling operator Melco Crown Entertainment (MCE) following last December’s share sell-off by former joint venture partner James Packer’s Crown Resorts, industry analysts are eager to know more about Ho’s strategy reversing MCE long-term declining performance.

Last week MCE’s leader announced a raft of senior executive changes with a view of diversifying the firm’s casino assets towards building stronger ‘non-gambling propositions’.

Taking over majority control of MCE assets, Ho announced the appointment of luxury brand and marketing expert Frederic Winckler to the newly created role of chief brand & marketing officer.

Winckler joins MCE stables having served as global marketing officer for French high-fashion designer Louis Vuitton. No doubt that Ho will be looking for Winckler to sprinkle some luxury magic as MCE looks to build effective propositions for wider Asian tourism.

Ho commented on the appointment of Winckler: “I am very excited to have Frederic joining the MCE team. His international and luxury brand experience will certainly provide invaluable insights as we develop an enhanced strategy to leverage MCE’s luxury and entertainment propositions.”

Ho has wasted no time in restructuring MCE leadership focusing on revitalising Macau properties. In addition to a new marketing and branding lead, Ho further announced the appointments of Asian casino veterans Gabriel Hunterton as property president for ‘City of Dreams Macau’ and Andy Choy as president of the Altira and Mocha Clubs Macau.

MCE will now move to form a ‘new corporate entity’ which will reflect the firm’s strategy and values since the equity dilution by Crown Resorts. In its road to recovery, the operator seeks to spearhead a Macau recovery against other heavily impacted competitors operating in the Chinese province.

Adding a note to the appointments, Ho commented on MCE 2017 ambitions: “2017 will be another exciting year for myself, Macau and MCE. I look forward to working with many seasoned international talents in my management team. With the continuous support and dedication from all of our colleagues, Melco Crown Entertainment will continue to be innovative in offering the best-in-class hospitality and entertainment experiences to our existing and new customers.”

Totally Gaming says: MCE’s Macau recovery will likely be one of the gambling industry’s most interesting stories in 2017. Macau’s market decline has been well documented, but Asian gambling stakeholders are optimistic of beginning a turnaround in 2017 if they can create a wider audience beyond gambling tourism. The appointment of Frederic Winckler catches the eye, stating that Lawrence Ho is not afraid to gamble on outside talent in order to reverse MCE asset performance.

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