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John O’Neill steps in as interim executive chairman at The Star

The Star Group Entertainment

John O’Neill has been appointed as the interim Executive Chairman of Star Group, taking over the roles of the troubled outgoing CEO.

With the resignation of Matt Bekier, which came amid an ongoing public hearing into claimed anti-money laundering (AML) failures, The Star has appointed O’Neill to pilot the affairs of the group till a new CEO and Managing Director can be found to fill the role.

The Star has hired the services of headhunting firm Spencer Stuart to help look for a suitable replacement, but until one is found, O’Neill will be the Executive Chairman, though Bekier will be here for a short while to help with the transition processes.

While performing the responsibilities on an interim basis, O’Neill will be paid extra payment, totalling AU$1.5m (US$1.1M) per annum, or a monthly pay of AU$125,000.

The Star added, will bring his total remuneration to approximately AU$2m. the Star’s board will also set on “event of renewal at intervals.”

“While the board contemplates the importance that the company has stability in this transitional time to a New Managing Director and CEO, it advocates the need to speed the board change,” The Star said.

“As The Group continues to pay attention to its day-day-day operations it is also dedicated to its over 8,000 team members after two years of Covid-related lockdowns and limitations.”
With the ongoing review into The Star Sydney, Australia headed by Adam Bell SC, The Star stated that it continues to “cooperate fully.”

The public hearing related to this review heard testimony in March from Paul Mc Williams, previous Chief Risk Officer of The Star, who said that Bekier had, in 2018, refused to accept certain AML and counter-terrorism financing liabilities when reported from LPMG the audit firm.

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