Kirk Kerkorian, the founder and largest shareholder of MGM Resorts International, will step down from the company’s board of directors and take up the position of senior advisor and first director emeritus.  

As director emeritus, Kerkorian will serve as a senior advisor to both MGM Resorts management and its board, and will have a standing invitation to attend any meeting of the board or its executive committee. He will not, however, retain voting rights on board matters.  

Kerkorian, who owns a 27 percent stake in MGM Resorts through his Tracinda Corp. holding company, will continue to be represented on the MGM board through Tracinda executives and MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren.  

“Throughout the years, I have relied on Kirk far beyond his role as our largest shareholder," said Murren in a prepared statement. “He has always been available to discuss any detail or issue, and I look forward to continuing to receive the benefit of his counsel for many years to come.”  

Kerkorian, 93, toldBloombergthat board meetings had become too lengthy and that he no longer liked to travel to them from his home in California. He added that he preferred the new position since it would allow him a more strategic and advisory role with MGM Resorts; and that he would continue to talk to Murren “at least three to four times a week.”  

Meanwhile in other MGM International news, the company has gained a controlling stake in the MGM China casino resort it is attempting to co-develop along with Pansy Ho in the Cotai Strip area of Macau. MGM will gain control through an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange which will give it a 51 percent stake in the project as opposed to a 29 percent share for Ho. Previously, Ho and MGM Resorts had been equal partners in the project.