Rafiq will lead MGM Resorts' business transformation with a companywide strategy that aligns drivers of revenue, evolves the guest experience and grows the Company in new, innovative ways
LAS VEGAS, April 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- MGM Resorts International (MGM) ("MGM Resorts" or the "Company") today announced the appointment of highly respected leader in digital business and companywide transformation, Atif Rafiq, as President of Commercial and Growth, reporting directly to Chairman and CEO Jim Murren. Rafiq has extensive experience in rethinking and transforming global organizations, reshaping consumer behavior and delivering significant, measurable, new sources of profitability for companies.
With this new role, Rafiq will develop new customer experiences, business models and revenue streams, including launching digital businesses to further differentiate MGM Resorts. As the lead commercial officer, he will oversee current revenue streams including commercial, digital, sales and marketing, bringing them together in a unified strategy allowing for efficient, nimble and innovative growth. This is in line with the principles of MGM 2020, the Company's plan for transformation and revenue growth, with an emphasis on data-driven, digital and customer-centric innovations.
"MGM Resorts is on a clear path toward growing the customer experience and digital transformation, and Atif is the right leader at the right time. We conducted an exhaustive search knowing we needed to find someone with not only digital transformation experience, but also a business leader with proven ability to translate emerging consumer behavior into strategy and revenue growth. Atif brings all of these skills to the table," Murren said. "I have no doubt that he will harness technology and utilize the greatest assets and employees in the business, to maximize revenue and evolve the guest experience."
As the first Chief Digital Officer in the Fortune 100, Rafiq led one of the largest digital transformations in the world at McDonald's Corporation. In less than five years, his initiatives went from idea to global rollout becoming one of the main revenue growth drivers for the company. Rafiq joins MGM Resorts from Volvo Cars, where he led strategic initiatives to embrace business model change through digital subscriptions, developed direct-to-consumer relationships, introduced a wave of connectivity services for cars and created partnerships with tech giants.
"MGM Resorts sits at a unique intersection between hospitality and huge consumer appetite for experiences. More and more, consumers gravitate toward experiences that entertain, delight, sustain, build treasured memories and create lasting connections. MGM has the assets, scale advantage and strong brand to grow and deepen its customer relationships taking aim at such opportunities," Rafiq said. "The building blocks of digitization – user experience, design and technology – have been harnessed by companies like Airbnb, WeWork and Uber to revolutionize their spaces. We need to obsess over changing consumer behaviors within our sights, and use these same building blocks to grow in new ways. I look forward to partnering with the executive team to bring this ambition to life."
A veteran of Silicon Valley with 17 years of experience leading large scale digital businesses at top global technology companies including Amazon, Yahoo! and AOL, Rafiq will be a key leader as MGM Resorts embarks on its major digital transformation under MGM 2020.
MGM Resorts is in the midst of a significant and exciting transformation under MGM 2020. With the addition of Rafiq to the senior executive leadership team, he will set the digital strategy and drive change across the organization. His strategic insights and his strong execution experience and initiatives should help MGM Resorts realize significant incremental cash flow.
"Our Company continues to focus on hiring and developing leaders for the future," Murren said. "Atif joining the leadership team further deepens our bench of talent."
Atif Rafiq's headshot can be found here
ABOUT ATIF RAFIQ
Atif Rafiq is a senior executive widely recognized for his innovation, general management and market influence over his 20-year career. He is joining MGM Resorts from Volvo Cars, where he served as Senior Vice President, Group IT and Chief Digital Officer. Atif is a veteran of Silicon Valley and held a variety of general management positions at leading global consumer and technology companies, including McDonald's, Amazon, Yahoo!, and AOL. He was also the co-founder and CEO of a start-up at the age of 28, and advised, invested and served on the boards of more than 15 start-ups. Before his work in the digital and technology realm, Atif began his career at Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst, supporting companies such as Borders, Kmart, PetSmart, Lockheed Martin and other large organizations. Atif holds a bachelor's degree in Mathematics-Economics from Wesleyan University and a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago. Atif has over 600,000 followers on social media and is an active speaker at conferences including Fortune Reinvent, Cannes Lion, SXSW, CES, Google I/O, Web Summit, MIT Artificial Intelligence Summit and more.
ABOUT MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL
MGM Resorts International (MGM) is an S&P 500® global entertainment company with national and international locations featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM Resorts creates immersive, iconic experiences through its suite of Las Vegas-inspired brands. The MGM Resorts portfolio encompasses 30 unique hotel and destination gaming offerings including some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry. Expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world, the company recently acquired the operations of Empire City Casino in New York and Hard Rock Rocksino in Ohio, which was rebranded as MGM Northfield Park. In 2018, MGM Resorts opened MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, MGM COTAI in Macau, and the first Bellagio-branded hotel in Shanghai. The 83,000 global employees of MGM Resorts are proud of their company for being recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies®. For more information visit us at www.mgmresorts.com.
Statements in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and involve risks and/or uncertainties, including those described in the Company's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company has based forward-looking statements on management's current expectations and assumptions and not on historical facts. Examples of these statements include, but are not limited to, the Company's expectations regarding future results and the Company's financial outlook (including any guidance), the Company's ability to generate free cash flow growth, return capital to shareholders and further de-lever, and the Company's ability to execute its strategic plan, capital allocations strategy, and deliver on its 2020 goals. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements include effects of economic conditions and market conditions in the markets in which the Company operates and competition with other destination travel locations throughout the United States and the world, the design, timing and costs of expansion projects, risks relating to international operations, permits, licenses, financings, approvals and other contingencies in connection with growth in new or existing jurisdictions and additional risks and uncertainties described in the Company's Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K reports (including all amendments to those reports). In providing forward-looking statements, the Company is not undertaking any duty or obligation to update these statements publicly as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. If the Company updates one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those other forward-looking statements.