Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 | 8:30 a.m.
One of Steve Wynn’s favorite resort officials is rejoining his operation in a newly formed international resort division.
Gamal Aziz has been appointed president and COO of Wynn’s new company, Wynn Resorts Development LLC. Aziz has known Wynn for decades and helped Wynn open the Bellagio as that hotel’s senior vice president, a post he held from 1998-2000. Most recently, Aziz was president and COO of MGM Hospitality.
In a statement, Wynn said:
“I cannot think of a better way to start the New Year than by announcing that my former colleague, Gamal Aziz, will rejoin our company as President and Chief Operating Officer of our new development company, Wynn Resorts Development LLC.
“Gamal helped us to create and open the Bellagio and has enjoyed tremendous success in the intervening years at MGM Resorts International. He has decided to return to our family and will lead our expansion plans as we enter an exciting, new phase in the growth of our company.
“Our activities in North America and Cotai require that the company expand its leadership. Therefore, Gamal will be working directly with me to develop and operate these future resorts.
“Gamal's return to our company will give us a tremendous boost as we begin 2013.”
Wynn has long praised Aziz's skills. Once, during a 2006 interview about a different resort executive, Wynn repeatedly returned to praising Aziz as one of the city's great resort officials.
As the release states, in his role as CEO of MGM Hospitality, a division he founded, Aziz helped finalize 27 hotel projects in leisure markets around the world. Prior to taking on that responsibility, Aziz was president and COO of MGM Grand, joining that resort in 2000 after moving over from his position at the Bellagio. He also has held executive positions at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the Plaza in New York, the Westin Hotel in Washington, D.C., and the St. Francis in San Francisco.
Over the past several weeks, MGM Resorts has seen many of its top-line executives leave the company. In December, Bobby Baldwin took over for Bill McBeath as president of Aria at CityCenter. Near the end of the month, Mirage President Felix Rappaport announced that he was stepping down at year's end, as MGM Resorts COO Corey Sanders has stepped in to run the hotel-casino until a replacement for Rappaport is named.