New CEO

Aristocrat Appoints Jamie Odell as New CEO and Managing Director

On December 29th, 2008, Aristocrat Leisure Limited, the world’s 2nd biggest manufacturer of slot machines, has appointed Jamie Odell as chief executive officer and managing director after Paul Oneile resigned from his post on September 2008, 3 months ahead of schedule. Odell was the forming managing director of Foster’s Group Limited for Australia, Asia and the Pacific, which Aristocrat sees as an area that has a big potential for growth. Odell’s appointment will be effective on February 1st, 2009.

Aristocrat Leisure Limited, which is based in Sydney, Australia, is having a hard time finding buyers for new games as the financial crisis hits the U.S. hard. The financial crisis is also slowing the demand for new slot machines. Casino gaming revenue on the Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City slide down for the 10th straight month in October as players hurt by the falling value of their homes and job losses cut back on their spending.

Aristocrat improved by 1.3% to close at A$3.90 in Sydney, cutting back this year’s loss to 65%. Australia’s benchmark SandP/ASX 200 Index improved by one percent, paring its slide this year to forty-three percent. Odell will be paid a yearly salary of A$1.25 million or $895,000 U.S. Odell may receive a bonus ranging from fifty to one hundred percent of his salary upon actualization of the company’s financial and other goals. Odell may also be given a long-term bonus of share rights worth as much as $1.275 Australian.

Aristocrat, the biggest slot machine manufacturer behind International Game Technology from Reno, Nevada, also competes with Bally Technologies Incorporated and WMS Industries Incorporated from the U.S. Chairman David Simpson temporarily fills in the executive chairman role after Oneile resigned on September 29th. Oneile had previously stated that he would not renew his contract with the company on its expiration on December 31st, 2008.

Gaming profit in the two largest gaming centers in the United States slide down by 26% to $475 million in October from a year earlier, according to the Gaming Control Board of Nevada. The state’s casino commission said that November revenue in Atlantic City also dropped.