No Mirage: Resort CFO Named Pinnacle CEO

Former Mirage Resorts finance chief hired as Pinnacle Entertainment's CEO. Plus: Invacare CFO jumps to OM Group, and timeshare operator meeting the Abbott.

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. named Daniel Lee chairman and chief executive… Lee formerly CFO and SVP of development at Mirage Resorts… Lee replaces Paul Alanis, who resigned as CEO at Glendale, Calif.-based casino operator, according to company statement… Pinnacle says Lee will work closely with COO Wade Hundley, who joined the company last September…

“Since chairman R.D. Hubbard intended to retire from the board at the forthcoming annual meeting, we felt it was appropriate for Dan to also become chairman at this time,” said the company…

Information on Lee’s salary at his new employer unavailable, but he should make out OK… According to Pinnacle’s last proxy statement, former CEO Alanis earned close to $1 million in 2000, between $600,000 in salary, a $300,000 bonus, and about $4,600 in other compensation…

Pinnacle also boosted its forecast for Q1… Company expects first-quarter loss of $2.5 million to $3.7 million, or 10 cents to 15 cents a diluted share, excluding goodwill… Thomson Financial/First Call analysts had projected loss of 23 cents a share…

Some bad news for Pinnacle: company disclosed that its Indiana casino is under investigation regarding regulatory compliance… Apparently, Belterra Casino Resort is under investigation by the Indiana Gaming Commission regarding allegations of harassment in a lawsuit filed by two former Belterra employees…

>> Invacare Corp. finance chief Thomas Miklich has resigned to become CFO at OM Group Inc., according to filing with Securities and Exchange Commission… Miklich served as Invacare’s finance chief since joining company in 1993… Elyria, Ohio-based maker of wheelchairs is looking for replacement… At OM Group, a producer of metal-based specialty chemicals, Miklich succeeds James Materna, who is retiring after 10 years on job…

Looks like Miklich will make more money in his new job… According to Invacare proxy statement, Miklich earned around $466,000 in compensation in 2001, plus $203,528 in restricted stock awards… Total comp? About $670,000. OM Group CFO Materna, on the other hand, earned a salary of $339,500, a $288,000 bonus, and $592,000 in restricted stock awards… Total comp? More than $1.2 million…

>> Great River Energy named Larry Schmid as CFO… Schmid replaces Ron Larson, who became CEO of Split Rock Energy on April 1… Split Rock is wholesale power-supply alliance formed by Great River Energy and Minnesota Power…

Schmid has served as manager of financial services for Great River since January 1999… He joined company way back in 1978 as budget analyst and worked his way up the River, eventually landing post as director of finance and administration… Great River, Minnesota’s second-largest electric utility, is generation and transmission cooperative…

>> Chris Abbott has been appointed COO of timeshare operator World’s Finest Resorts… Before joining World’s Finest, Abbott was a partner, CFO, and manager at Telluride Venture Group II… Abbott is also founder of Resort Collection, which provides similar services as World’s Finest… Before that, Abbott was with Prudential Securities in New York, specializing in institutional fixed-income sales…

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