Senior Leadership Appointments At SkyCity Entertainment Group

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SkyCity Entertainment Group (SkyCity) has announced three internal appointments to its senior leadership team.

Michael Ahearne, CEO SkyCity Entertainment Group, says he has spent the past two months reviewing the skills and experience needed to lead SkyCity through its next phase.

Callum Mallett has been appointed Chief Operating Officer New Zealand, taking on operating responsibility for the New Zealand businesses and day-to-day operations of SkyCity Auckland. Mr Mallett has held a number of senior roles at SkyCity, including General Manager SkyCity Darwin and General Manager SkyCity Auckland Hotels, Convention Centre and Sky Tower, and is currently Executive General Manager Hospitality at SkyCity Auckland. In his current role, Mr Mallett facilitated the recently opened All Blacks Experience and Weta Unleashed attractions at SkyCity Auckland and Emirates Team New Zealand partnership.

David Christian, currently General Manager SkyCity Adelaide, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer Australia and will continue to lead the Adelaide property which has recently unveiled its spectacular A$330 million expansion including the luxury Eos by SkyCity hotel and refurbished facilities in the iconic Adelaide Railway Station. Mr Christian has held leadership roles at our Auckland, Hamilton and Darwin properties during his career with SkyCity.

Matthew Ballesty, currently Executive General Manager Gaming, has been appointed Chief Casino Officer and will be responsible for managing the casino operations at SkyCity’s largest property in Auckland and providing strategic direction on all gaming products across the SkyCity Entertainment Group.

These three appointments are effective 1 February 2021.

“It is significant that at SkyCity we have the depth of talent to fill these three critical senior leadership roles from within our business. I am confident that Callum, David and Matt, will make strong contributions as senior leaders to SkyCity moving forward,” said Mr Ahearne.


About Callum Mallett

Mr Mallett has worked at SkyCity Entertainment Group for 14 years. Starting his career with SkyCity in Hotel and Convention sales, Mr Mallett then became the General Manager of Hotels and Sky Tower. Following this, Mr Mallett moved to SkyCity Darwin as Head of Operations, overseeing both the gaming and non-gaming functions, prior to being promoted to General Manager SkyCity Darwin.

After three years in Australia, Mr Mallett returned to New Zealand to lead the New Zealand International Convention Centre operations team and has most recently held the position of Executive General Manager – Hospitality overseeing the tourism and hospitality portfolio for SkyCity Auckland. Prior to his time with SkyCity, Mr Mallett held numerous operational management roles across the cinema, retail and food and beverage sectors.

About David Christian

Mr Christian was appointed General Manager Adelaide Casino in April 2019 and currently oversees the operations of SkyCity’s second largest property in Adelaide.

Mr Christian has previously held several significant positions within the SkyCity Entertainment Group, including General Manager SkyCity Darwin from June 2016 – April 2019, General Manager Adelaide Casino from 2008 – 2014 and, prior to that, General Manager SkyCity Auckland and General Manager SkyCity Hamilton. Mr Christian has more than 30 years’ experience in hospitality, hotel and casino management, including working in several Australian States and Singapore.

About Matthew Ballesty

Since joining the SkyCity Entertainment Group in 2013, Mr Ballesty has held several senior operational and strategic roles within the organisation. Currently in the position of Executive General Manager Gaming, Mr Ballesty leads the strategic, operational, and performance outcomes of the VIP and local gaming businesses.

Mr Ballesty has experienced a diverse 27-year career in the gaming and hospitality sector having held senior executive positions in Australia, New Zealand, Macau and Canada. He was a founding member of the executive of MPEL based in Macau, China. He held senior roles at Altira (formerly Crown Macau) and at City of Dreams. In Vancouver, Canada, Mr Ballesty was the Executive General Manager of the flagship property for the Gateway Casino and Entertainment Group with the additional oversight of the VIP International business. Before joining SkyCity, he was Vice President of Business Development for Crown Resorts corporate office, as a senior representative consulting on international projects in existing and emerging markets.

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