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Former MGM CEO Lanni diagnosed with cancer

14 Oct 2009

By Howard Stutz

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Former MGM Mirage Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Terry Lanni reportedly has been diagnosed with cancer and will undergo surgery and chemotherapy treatments.

Lanni, 66, who retired from MGM Mirage nearly a year ago, confirmed the diagnosis to Gaming Today, a casino industry publication. A source close to the casino operator confirmed the report today.

Lanni, who has a house in Las Vegas, spends most of his time in Southern California. He could not be reached for comment.

MGM Mirage CEO Jim Murren told The Associated Press that Lanni's "spirits are strong." More details about the diagnosis were not immediately available.

Since turning over the reigns of MGM Mirage to Murren, Lanni has largely stayed out of the picture. He decided against accepting an appointment to the MGM Mirage board as an outside director. Lanni also resigned his only other corporate board position, giving up his seat with homebuilder KB Home.

Lanni's departure came during a time when the company was dealing with corporate financing matters stemming from the melting economy and a debt load of more than $13 billion.

Six months later, MGM Mirage embarked on a $2.6 billion corporate restructuring effort to keep the casino operator out of bankruptcy court. MGM Mirage also struck a new agreement with its joint venture partner, Dubai World, which saved the $8.5 billion CityCenter development from a bankruptcy filing.

Lanni's departure also was marred by revelations that he had not earned a master's of business administration in finance from the University of Southern California, as had been reported in his corporate biography dating to 1982, when he was an executive with Caesars World.

MGM Mirage officials and others denied the degree flap had any bearing on Lanni's retirement.

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