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SJM appoints Frank McFadden as new Chief Operating Officer

Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg

SJM Holdings has named long-time executive Frank McFadden as its new Chief Operating Officer.

According to an internal memo sent to SJM staff, McFadden, who has served as the company’s President of Joint Ventures and Business Development since 2006, will replace Louis Ng who stepped down from the role on Tuesday.

A former amateur boxer and professional rugby union player, the 63-year-old Irishman first landed in Macau in late 2004 to run Sands Macao before being lured to SJM just two years later to oversee the launch of Grand Lisboa.

He has since established himself not only as a key member of SJM’s senior management team but one of the highest ranking Macau-based westerners in the industry.

His new role will see him take overall responsibility for casino operations at SJM’s peninsula properties Grand Lisboa, Casino Lisboa, Ponte 16 and Jai Alai.

The appointment of McFadden as COO comes as somewhat of a surprise given rumors that he may have been considering retirement. However, having already navigated the complexities of SJM’s inner machinations for well over a decade – and earned the respect of his peers in the process – he could also prove the perfect elixir for a company in desperate need of a spark.

Having seen its share of Macau GGR fall from 21.7% just five years ago to a new low of just 13.3% in the most recent quarter, SJM also finds itself facing boardroom uncertainty following a January 2019 power play by Pansy Ho, daughter of company founder Dr Stanley Ho, that saw her take command of a controlling interest in parent company STDM.

Dr Ho passed away 15 days ago aged 98.

In a boardroom boasting a Chairman (Daisy Ho), two Co-Chairmen (Angela Leong and Timothy Fok) and a Vice Chairman (Ambrose So), perhaps McFadden is seen as the one candidate able to provide some clarity to the marketplace in this time of immense uncertainty amid the backdrop of COVID-19.

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