Crown Resorts has given over $9.7 Mn as termination payouts to three of its ex-employees who served as top executives of the company only to be let go for their implication in assorted scandals. Ken Barton, Barry Felstead and Todd Nisbet, the said “beneficiaries'', had made headlines earlier this year for all the wrong reasons:
Barton, former Chief Executive Officer, resigned from the company in January this year amid a massive money laundering investigation whose fallout saw Crown denied a license for expanding its Sydney operations. But according to Crown’s annual report, Barton had been given $3.4 million after his departure in February. He received a total of $5.4 million for FY2020-2021, in which $1.9 million was his salary. And an additional $1.4 million was handed out to him for his accrued annual and long-service leave, totalling to $6.7 million for the year. What's more, he is still eligible to exercise his stock options, amounting to over 8.5 million shares in Crown Digital, the company's online gambling arm, in December 2022 at a price of $1.45 each. For reference, Crown Digital is currently the second best performing component of the Crown Resorts portfolio.
Felstead, former Chief Executive of Australian Resorts, was also let go for his role in the money laundering scandal. He received a S3.2 million exit package, but his total payment for the year, including salary and leave entitlements, was more than double that - $7 million. Notably, Felstead had been entangled in another sticky regulatory affair even before the investigation - in 2016, 19 Crown staff were arrested in China over illegally marketing gambling services, and the resulting inquiry pinned the blame on poor corporate governance practices.
And Nisbet, formerly Crown’s president of strategy and development, who had been accused of workplace bullying and harassment as far back as 2016, received a $3.1 million payout. Including his leave entitlements and take home pay, he walked off with a total of $7.6 million.