Tanasijevich in the running to replace Arasi

GEORGE TANASIJEVICH, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) managing director of global development, is in the running to replace Tom Arasi, who has quit as president and CEO of Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Singapore and is leaving on February 18.

LVS president and COO, Michael Leven, told TTG Asia e-Daily on the sidelines of MBS’ grand opening media conference this morning that Tanasijevich was a candidate – and an ideal one at that – but that the corporation owed it to itself and investors to “just look and see if there’s someone out there”.

The search firm it hired would give a report this Friday, and Leven said he hoped to make a decision in the next 30 to 60 days.

“I’ve had a long conversation with George. He wants to be a candidate but he’s had a very good job with us as global development managing director, so I don’t want to lose that function. But we have to do what’s best for the company and what’s best for George.

“The other candidates have to be better than George if he’s not going to get the job,” Leven said.

Asked to respond to industry criticisms that MBS could not keep its CEO – Arasi lasted only 18 months, while Nigel Roberts before him just six months (TTG Asia e-Daily, August 13, 2009) – Leven said: “Tom’s been here 18 months, through the hottest part of the project. It is typical in our business where people don’t stay much longer after opening.

“This is why it is good to have someone like George, who is committed, who has been in Singapore for 10 years, who loves the country and knows the government – those are the advantages and it will be difficult to find a more qualified person than George to do it.”

When said this sounded he was already set on Tanasijevich, Leven said: “I like George. He is a loyal, intelligent executive with very good judgement. Frankly, there are things about George that Mr (Sheldon) Adelson and I are comfortable with. Still, we owe it to our investors to just look and see if there’s someone out there.”

Tanasijevich is interim CEO of MBS. An earlier statement said he was instrumental in helping LVS win the bid to build MBS.

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