James Packer steps down from Crown, again

Jeannie Matthews
March 21, 2018

High-profile billionaire businessman James Packer has resigned from his company Crown Resorts, with reports suggesting mental health issues are behind his abrupt exit.

Mr Alexander said Crown appreciated Mr Packer's contribution to the board and respected his decision to step down. The Australian Financial Review quoted a spokesman for Packer's private company, Consolidated Press Holdings, saying that he is "suffering from mental health issues". "At this time he intends to step back from all commitments", the spokesperson said.

Mr Packer, who is now in the United States, intends to take a complete break from work commitments in order to regain his health.

The ASX-listed gaming company told the stock market on Wednesday morning that Mr Packer had resigned for "personal reasons".

Packer, 50, rejoined the board of Crown in August having previously stepped down as chairman and director in 2015. "And you get gun-shy of getting hit", Mr Packer said in the interview.

Mariah Carey was introduced to the stage by Packer at Crown Casino's New Year's Eve Party in 2015.

He was also questioned by police in December over a corruption probe involving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is suspected of receiving luxury gifts from wealthy supporters.

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The casino company has also attracted global attention, when Chinese authorities detained and jailed a number of employees in 2016 over the promotion of gambling.

Shares in Crown were 18 cents, or 1.4 per cent, lower at $12.89 at 1153 AEDT.

He had rejoined the Crown board past year after the company withdrew from its Macau and U.S. investments and re-focused on Australia.

Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings earlier this month reduced its shareholding in Crown Resorts to maintain a 47 per cent stake.

Mental health awareness organisation beyondblue said anyone can be affected by mental health issues.

Australian readers seeking support and information about depression can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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