Isle president and CEO announces retirement; will be replaced by chief financial officer April 27

The Isle of Capri Casino, Inc. President and CEO Virginia McDowell will step down April 27 after nine years at the helm of the St. Louis-based gambling firm.

Eric L. Hausler, currently chief financial officer, will succeed McDowell as chief executive officer, and Arnold L. Block, currently chief operating officer at the Isle, will become president and chief operating officer.

McDowell will retire from the company. According to the company SEC filing January 14, her decision to retire from the board of directors "is not because of any disagreement with the company."

McDowell was named Isle president and COO in July 2007 by Bernie Goldstein, founder and then-CEO of the company. Prior to the Isle appointment, McDowell had served as executive vice president and chief information officer at Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc.

The company news release stated the board of directors does not intend to fill the vacancy created by McDowell’s retirement from the board.

Michael Hart, currently the vice president of treasury and risk management, will be promoted to senior vice president, accounting and treasury and oversee the company's financial and accounting affairs.

"Virginia has made significant contributions to Isle's development and success," said Robert Goldstein, chairman of the board, was quoted in the news release. "I sincerely appreciate her leadership and wish her all the best in retirement."

"It has been an honor and a privilege to lead Isle over the past nearly nine years," McDowell stated in the news release. "This transition comes at a time of strength for Isle. I am extremely pleased with what we have achieved during my tenure at Isle, first as president and chief operating officer and then as president and CEO. I believe now is the right time for me to retire and allow this team to bring new excitement, energy, ideas and perspectives to the company."

The Isle operates 14 casino properties including three in Iowa (Marquette, Bettendorf and Waterloo). The company's other gaming and entertainment facilities are located in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Pennsylvania.

The company currently is in the midst of building a new land-based casino next to its two hotels along the Bettendorf riverfront. It plans to move from the existing riverboat to the new casino in the first half of this year.

CLICK HERE to read the full Isle news release.

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