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MGM PR Rewrites Jim Murren's Wikipedia Entry - AGAIN!

By Chuckmonster on Saturday, 18th June 2011 2:01am
  » filed under MGM Mirage  comments: 6


They're back... the MGM PR machine has once again dove into the wily waters of Wikipedia to freshen up CEO Jim Murren's entry, piecemeal restuffing the horseshit we called them on in January.

Jim Murren Wikipedia

Wikipedia user Yhoo01 is a "Social Media Manager" who works for MGM Resorts International. Jim Murren's biography is the only article that this user has ever contributed to.

But why is MGM's PR goon squad so concerned with constantly editing Jim Murren's Wikipedia entry? Something they need to hide? Like the fact that their stock price has flat lined since Mr. Murren took over? Don't go blaming the economy folks... one peek at MGM's main competitors WYNN and LVS show investors lining up to put chips on their futures.

This chart starts in 2006, before Murren and before the boom went bust.

Murren Ceo Bust

You can see comparatively, WYNN is now at 86% value growth since 2006 and nearly at its absolute peek in Q4 2007. LVS has been pummeled... down 41% since 2006, but heavily rebounding since mid-2010.

MGM on the other hand hasn't recovered whatsoever in the 3 years since the bust, losing ~70% of its value since mid 2006.

Murren Ceo Bust

Zooming into the Murren only era, reveals that even with the incredibly hyped opening of the epic, gigantic, amazing, jaw dropping, earth shaking and environment saving city within a city MGM can't excite investors to bet on them. Dangle the easy revenue of resort fees... investors yawned. Toss international hotel management contracts onto the pile... no bump. M Life optimization and comp cost shaving savings, not interested. Gaining control of MGM Macau... zero.

It took them three years to make $1.65/share... and they sold Treasure Island and half of City Center somewhere in there too.

Is this a case of MGM having too much toxic debt, too little technological know how, a tired stable of resorts filled with yesteryear content, too much reliance on the landlord/renter business model or is this a big vote of no confidence in CEO Jim Murren.

It is the duty of the CEO to make business decisions that create profits and value for shareholders. Any CEO that doesn't do that, doesn't deserve to have that job.


Comments & Discussion:

I'm confused. This time, it appears the edits are limited to providing citations where they were specified as being needed, and a minor grammar change. I didn't see any other changes.

As a finance professional...its Door #4. Not enough Macau exposure. Thats why Wynn and LVS are doing okay.

Oh, that and the debt, too.

I'm certain this will be a very, very unpopular opinion, but given that the success of LVS and WYNN can largely be explained by their presence in Macau, I think it's time to cut Murren and Loveman some slack. They bet big on Las Vegas, while Wynn and Adelson bet on China. In hindsight, China obviously was the way to go.

I don't know how many folks saw Loveman interviewed by John Ralston last week, but, in my book, Gary Loveman comes across as much more grounded, intelligent, and thoughtful than his competitors. You can bemoan the state of casinos that Caesars/Harrah's has taken over, like the Rio, but the guy is smart. His big gamble was buying Caesars, and now he's snapping up distressed properties like Planet Hollywood and Palms for pennies on the dollar.

Jim Murren has kept his company from going bankrupt these past two years. Yes, CityCenter was his idea, but it hit at the worst possible time. However, he should not be allowed to talk to the media, because he just doesn't have any charisma. Also, he should fire the interior design firm doing the hotel room redesigns.

Steve Wynn reminds me more and more of the Steve Wynn of a decade+ ago who said insane stuff to the media and investment bankers and had his company bought out from underneath him. His "Obama sucks, China rules" routine is worse than old at this point. His attention seems focused on Macau, as Wynncore is turning (seemingly by design) into the Palms.

I understand the flip side of the argument would be that Murren and Loveman aren't "old Vegas" guys, so they're doing it wrong. The problem is, is that the old Vegas guys aren't minding their shops any more.

Murren shouldn't get credit for saving a company he played a major hand in bankrupting. CityCenter as a whole is a failure. Retail and Aria are bright spots, but the condo/condotel components are a dead albatross strung around its neck. Comparing Loveman to Murren is inappropriate... Loveman is an astute, academic business man with keen acumen for statistics and behavioral marketing.

Fair enough, it was a poor comparison. However, countless others thought condos were the wave of the future in Vegas. Obviously, they were very wrong. Murren managed to keep the company afloat when others (Maloofs, for instance) got crushed. He might be better suited to a role like CFO.

I just feel that sometimes the tenor of the criticism of Murren is skewed by how arrogant and unlikeable he comes across in interviews. Maybe he is that arrogant -- if I were his PR team, I'd say "Why don't we let Bobby Baldwin take this one with CNBC..." and maybe he's saying no. Steve Wynn is arrogant as hell, but he's also an amazing showman with a track record of success. You take the good with the bad with Wynn, but I don't see much upside to getting Murren in front of the cameras.

I know Caesars is privately held now, but I'd get Loveman out there every chance I could. He's really impressive. He almost makes you forget how nasty the IP is.

MGM needs some help. Their IT structure is terrible. Just watch how much work it takes their staff to book rooms, lookup players club stuff, and you see millions going out the window. Try using the kiosk and you may be tempted to shoot yourself waiting.

They spend lots of money on fancy comp mailouts, that often are vague about what they are sending you. Some common sense would help.

As to City Center - might have looked good once, but times have changed. I would be putting some of the design team at the bottom of the lake myself. Can not imagine the cost of their decisions.

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