Australia’s Star Entertainment top brass steps down amid Sydney casino inquiry

By Thomson Reuters Mar 22, 2024 | 2:52 AM

(Reuters) – Australia’s Star Entertainment’s chief executive and finance officer are departing, the beleaguered casino operator said on Friday, as it faces a second inquiry into its Sydney operations.

Chief Executive Officer Robbie Cooke, who is also the managing director, will step down immediately, while Chief Financial Officer Christina Katsibouba will be replaced by Neale O’Connell on an interim basis starting next week, Star said in statements.

The company, which is facing a second inquiry into its Sydney casino operations after a license to operate the casino was suspended in October 2022, said CEO Cooke’s leadership was not going to be conducive to the inquiry.

Katsibouba, who was appointed as Star’s CFO in late 2022 when the company was under increased scrutiny by regulators due to poor management of money-laundering risks, decided to leave to pursue other interests, it added.

The interim CFO, Neale O’Connell, has previously served as the global CFO of travel management services provider Corporate Travel Management, and was also the finance chief of Tatts Group for six years from 2012, Star said.

(Reporting by John Biju in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala and Varun H K)