JM Holdings has appointed Caesars and Wynn veteran Paul Baker as president of the Grand Lisboa Palace, its $4.6bn integrated resort still under construction in Cotai.
The former deputy COO for Resorts World Genting assumed the role on 1 October, just three days prior to SJM chief executive Ambrose So Shu Fai predicting completion of the IR in the second half of 2019, a significant delay from the original 2016 estimate.
Baker will be responsible for all aspects of the GLP’s operations and cash flow, a formidable task in the the face of analysts Sanford Bernstein recently projecting “poor value creation for the Grand Lisboa Palace compared with other new Cotai properties.”
SJM has consistently reported decreases in its share of Macau’s GGR since 2010, from 29 per- cent in 2011 to 16.1 percent last year, with the GLP’s construction aiming to stem any further fall in market share.
Baker, selected for his experience as executive VP of Resorts Operations at Wynn Macau, may well find the appointment a poisoned chalice, with San- ford Bernstein adding the GLP “may be a ‘make or break’ development for the future of SJM.”