Crown Resorts names Durham as new legal counsel, adds Ward to board

| By Robert Fletcher
Australian casino operator Crown Resorts has appointed Craig Durham as its new group company secretary and legal counsel, and added Anne Ward to its board.

Durham will join the operator and assume his new roles on 4 October, subject to certain regulatory approvals.

Alan McGregor will continue as interim company secretary until Durham joins the group.

“Craig is an accomplished and experienced ASX listed company secretary, lawyer and governance professional with qualifications in Australia and the US, and on behalf of the board of directors and management, we welcome Craig to Crown,” Crown’s interim chairman Jane Halton said.

Meanwhile, Anne Ward will become an independent non-executive director on the Crown board, subject to the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.

Ward has expertise in business management, strategy, governance, risk and finance across sectors including financial services, technology, healthcare, government, education and tourism.

She is currently chair of ASX-listed companies Redbubble and MNF Group and a council member at RMIT University. Ward was also previously a commercial lawyer and held a number of senior executive positions including general counsel for Australia and Asia at National Australia Bank.

“Crown has been an integral part of my hometown Melbourne for many years and I am excited about the opportunity to make a contribution to the Board as Crown shapes its future,” Ward said.

“I look forward to joining the board as an agent for positive change and I am committed to supporting management in implementing the reform program and driving value for shareholders

Halton added: “Anne brings to the Crown Board rich experience from her extensive board and executive careers. Her appointment further strengthens the mix of capability and experience as we continue the refresh of the board.”

Ward’s appointment represents Crown’s latest boardroom level change in a year which included the Victoria government launching an investigation into the business.

That followed an inquiry from the New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority which deemed Crown unsuitable to obtain a licence for a casino in Barangaroo, Sydney. 

Ziggy Switkowski was appointed as the group’s new chairman in August, while Steve McCann became chief executive of Crown Melbourne following the departure of Xavier Walsh.

Earlier this month, Crown director Antonia Korsanos also announced her intention to retire, deciding not to seek re-election for her position.

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