MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) 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."
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