James J. Murren
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MGM Resorts International
Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston
December 5, 2013
TAKEAWAY: Human capital
On the people side of the business, we have invested heavily because, as I said, the industry was not great at this for many reasons—male dominated, good old boy network, a lot of nepotism—and I feel very strongly that our employee base should reflect our customer base.
And if you are working at a company that caters to customers from around the world, as we do—18 percent, by the way, of my visitors in Las Vegas come from overseas, 60 percent of the revenue I get out of Bellagio in a given summer are from folks that live outside of the United States. If you hit the pool at Bellagio in July, it sounds like the United Nations of people chatting, and it’s fantastic.
If you feel that way, you need to invest to make sure people feel that they want to be a part of you. And I’m in a very labor-intensive business. And that’s great. That, of course, is my largest individual cost. Sixty percent of my expenses are payroll and related expenses. And if I don’t get that part of it right, there’s nothing else I can do, as the ex-CFO or CEO, to generate an adequate return.