by Michael J. Shapiro | May 31, 2019
Gaming and hospitality giant MGM Resorts International eliminated an additional 557 jobs yesterday as part of the restructuring called for by the MGM 2020 plan laid out in January of this year. The cuts represent the final round of layoffs, according to MGM, following the 254 jobs eliminated in late April. The company reorganized leadership structures in the interim and managed to eliminate 222 additional positions, meaning a total of more than 1,000 MGM employees have lost their jobs this spring. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, 881 of those affected are based in Las Vegas, and most were in management or mid-management positions.
"The changes we are making today bring us closer to concluding the foundational work of MGM 2020, during which we streamlined our operating model and reduced our salaried staff by over 12 percent," wrote MGM Resorts chairman and CEO Jim Murren yesterday in a letter to employees. "While we will always seek opportunities to operate in the highest performing way possible, we believe that we will move into the growth chapter of MGM 2020 with a sound organizational structure.

"I stand behind the decisions we have made and believe them necessary to assure our future," noted Murren, "but I deeply regret the impacts they have on individuals and their families."

Affected employees received a two-week, non-working notice period, during which their health care and other benefits remain intact, according to an MGM spokesperson. Those laid off will also receive two weeks of severance for every year of service, up to 26 weeks for salaried and 13 weeks for hourly positions. MGM is providing career services to all as well.

Support is likewise being offered from a burgeoning network formed under the hashtag #254strong on LinkedIn, founded by MGM's former director of learning delivery, Mali Catello, following the first round of layoffs. As of this morning, the group has 275 followers, including many former MGM employees and many others in the hospitality industry.

"Your community needs you!" Catello posted yesterday to Las Vegas business and service providers. "557 exceptional hospitality professionals are being laid off today -- over 1,000 total since April. In many cases, both heads of household will be out of a job today. Please think of how you can help and post in the group MGM2020 #254strong."

As the group grew in number following April's layoffs, more than 10 percent of the members were recruiting and hiring managers, noted meetings professional and business events strategist Sam Bhandarkar, CMP, CASE, a member of the group.

MGM's Murren acknowledged the weighty challenges involved in restructuring the company. "I want to assure you the decisions of the last several months were made deliberately, carefully and with gravity," Murren wrote in his letter to MGM employees. "Having done this foundational work, we will be stronger and better prepared for continued success and industry leadership in 2020 and beyond."