Monday February 11,2013 : IGT CENSORS CHALLENGER'S WEBSITES
Internal access blocked as fight for board seats intensifies
The very public, and increasingly distasteful, fight for seats on the International Game Technology board of directors took a further downward turn over the weekend when reports surfaced that IGT's management has imposed internal blocks preventing employees from accessing challenger Jason Ader's websites.
The Las Vegas Review Journal revealed that CEO Patti Hart, whom Ader and his allies would like to see depart, had authorised an internal network pop-up that advises IGT employees that access has been blocked.
LVRJ columnist Howard Stutz rightly opined in the article: “Disagreements between gaming executives are not uncommon. But it's been years since the industry has seen a family feud quite like this one."
The attempt by Ader and former IGT CEO Charles Mathewson to gain a three-seat foothold on the board has seen bitter and at times ad hominem attacks launched through public statements by both sides.
Earlier this month Wynn Resorts owner Steve Wynn sprang to Matthewson's defence after IGT issued a statement accusing its former CEO of questionable compensation conduct during and after his 17 year tenure as IGT's boss.
Wynn said in a public statement that he had known Mathewson as a businessman and friend for 30 years, and commented:
"I am personally saddened by what appears to be a paid professional attempt to smear him. I'm left with the impression that such an effort is motivated by IGT's current management's attempt to distract shareholder attention from current performance."
The IGT meeting of shareholders on March 5 is likely to produce corporate fireworks as Ader and Matthewson press their challenge for three of the company's eight board seats.