The Star names David Foster as new chairman

David Foster joined the board on December 15.
David Foster joined the board on December 15.

The Star Entertainment Group has announced the retirement of its current chairman and non-executive director, Ben Heap.

Australia.- The Star Entertainment Group has announced that its chairman and non-executive director, Ben Heap, will retire effective on March 31. David Foster, who joined the board on December 15, 2022, and recently received all necessary regulatory approvals, will take over from that date.

According to the company filing, Foster has over 25 years of experience in the financial services sector, including a five-year stint as CEO of Suncorp Bank during the global financial crisis. He serves as Chairman of G8 Education, the largest ASX-listed childcare and early education operator, and holds various ASX-listed company directorships, including at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

Heap stated: “The board has evolved in a timely but measured way over the past 12 months. In addition to our recently appointed managing director & CEO, Robbie Cooke, four experienced non-executive directors have joined the renewed board with an additional director awaiting final regulatory approval. 

“I would like to express my appreciation to the board and management for their continued support during my tenure as chairman. I have every confidence The Star will be a powerhouse of the Australian tourism and entertainment sectors for decades to come, employing thousands of people across stunning locations in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.” 

Foster praised Heap’s leadership and stability during a challenging period for The Star and noted that the company has taken important steps towards earning back the trust of the community. The Star is seeking to rebuild following a tumultuous period that included investigations into money laundering at its casinos and the departure of its former CEO, Matt Bekier

Earlier this week, the company entered a guilty plea to seven charges in Queensland brought against it under the Casino Control Act of 1982. Queensland attorney-general Shannon Fentiman MP said the charges were in relation to Section 66, which prohibits the use of credit cards to buy casino chips.

The offences took place in two periods: from June 2, 2017, to December 29, 2018, and from March 23, 2022, to April 2, 2022. The sentencing is scheduled for June 2.

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The Star Entertainment Group