Gary William Loveman
April 12, 1960
|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D.)|
Wesleyan University (B.A.)
Gary William Loveman (born April 12, 1960) is an American economist, businessman, and former academic professor. After nine years on the faculty of Harvard Business School, he left in 1998 to become COO of Harrah's Entertainment, which, following a number of acquisitions, became Caesars Entertainment. He was the CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corporation for 12 years until stepping down on June 30, 2015 amidst a bankruptcy and restructuring. He remained chairman until late 2017. He was then president of Aetna’s Consumer Health and Services division from October 2015 until January 2018. He is a partial owner of the Boston Celtics.
Loveman is known for the development and application of analytics to influence customer behavior.
Early life and education
Loveman grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana as the youngest of three siblings. As a child, he was interested in math and active in sports. Loveman went on to attend Wesleyan University where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1982. After graduating from Wesleyan, Loveman worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston for two years as an economic researcher before pursuing a doctorate degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1989, Loveman completed his Ph.D. in economics.
After graduating from MIT at the age of 29, Loveman began teaching at Harvard Business School, where he was a professor for nine years. While at Harvard, Loveman taught Service Management and developed an interest in the service industry and customer service. In 1991 he was hired as a consultant for the casino company Harrah's Entertainment. He also launched a side career as a speaker and consultant after a 1994 paper he co-authored, titled "Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work", attracted the attention of companies including Disney, McDonald's, and American Airlines.The paper focused on the relationship between company profits and customer loyalty, and the importance of rewarding employees who interact with customers.
In 1997, Loveman sent a letter to Phil Satre, the then-chief executive officer of Harrah's Entertainment, in which he offered advice for growing the company. Loveman again began to consult for Harrah's, and in 1998 he was offered the position of chief operating officer. He initially took a two-year sabbatical from Harvard to take on the role, at the end of which Loveman decided to remain with the company.
As COO, Loveman was responsible for the establishment of the company's Total Rewards loyalty management system, which gathers data on casino customers. The program allowed the company to analyze the travel and spending habits of their customers. Through this, Harrah's determined that repeat slot players, not high rollers, were most profitable. Under Loveman's leadership Harrah's began to focus on building loyalty and bringing more of these gamblers to the casino. Loveman also established a rewards program for Harrah's employees of all levels, based on customer satisfaction. He served as Harrah's Entertainment's chief operating officer until 2003.
CEO of Harrah's and Caesars
In 2003, Loveman became chief executive officer of Harrah's, replacing Phil Satre. By 2005, Loveman had grown Harrah's into the largest casino operator in the world with the acquisition of Caesars Entertainment. In 2008, he led the company as it transitioned from a public to private company, after being acquired by private equity firms Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital for approximately $30 billion.
In the wake of the financial crisis of the late 2000s the company experienced a decrease in revenue and increased debt associated with the 2008 buyout by Apollo and TPG. Loveman cut costs and renegotiated the company's maturing debt to avoid defaulting. His leadership of the company through the debt restructuring in 2009 was praised by the American Gaming Association president and CEO Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.
In 2010, Loveman oversaw Harrah's transition to the name Caesars Entertainment Corporation and led an effort to take the company public again. The company successfully completed an initial public offering in 2012, selling approximately two percent of its shares. In 2013, Loveman initiated the sale of Caesars' golf course in Macau, which had been purchased in 2007 to later open as a casino. Loveman had initially turned down the purchase of a gaming license in Macau in 2006, a decision he described in 2010 as the biggest mistake the company had made.
A proponent of legalizing online gambling, Loveman has published opinion pieces on the topic in publications such as the Las Vegas Review Journal and on CNN Money. Loveman helped to launch Caesars' online gambling operation in Nevada in September 2013.
As CEO, Loveman expanded Harrah's from 15 casinos in 2003 to over 54 locations in 2013, through the acquisition of Caesars, Horseshoe Gaming Holding, Planet Hollywood, the Imperial Palace casino, and the World Series of Poker brand. Loveman announced in February 2015 that he was going to step down from his post as CEO. He remained chairman until 2017.
He became an executive vice president of Aetna and president of its Consumer Health and Services organization, Healthagen, in October 2015. He also joined Aetna's executive committee. Hired to expand both the consulting arm and health services, he and the division were charged with leading Aetna's strategies concerning "population health and consumer engagement," in part using data analytics and marketing. With the unit, Loveman developed digital tools and expanded Aetna's "consumer health and services analytics capabilities." In September 2016 Aetna opened a “consumer business hub” in Wellesley, Massachusetts under Loveman’s oversight. Aetna announced in December 2017 that it would become a stand-alone unit inside CVS Health in 2018. Loveman stepped down from Aetna in January 2018.
Committees and boards
In addition to his corporate positions at Caesars as of 2013 Loveman served on the board of directors at FedEx and Coach, Inc.. He was also on the board of directors for the American Gaming Association, where he previously served as the chairman of the board from 2007 to 2009.
He is the chairman of the Business Roundtable's Health and Retirement Committee. Also in 2012, he was named to the President's Export Council. Loveman was previously a member of MIT's Department of Economics' visiting committee. Loveman and his wife have also helped with fundraising efforts for Joslin Diabetes Center. Loveman is also on the board of trusteesof Boston Children's Hospital. In 2017, Boston Children's Hospital announced that $350,000 had been donated in honor of Loveman by his former colleagues to fund malaria research and a music therapy program.
Awards and recognition
Loveman's career was the subject of a Stanford Graduate School of Business case study in 2003, and he was recognized as the "best CEO" in the gaming and lodging industry by Institutional Investor magazine in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2013, Loveman was inducted into the American Gaming Association's Gaming Hall of Fame and awarded the Education Hero Award by the Las Vegas-based Public Education Foundation.
- Geier, Ben (6 June 2015). "Meet the Harvard Business School professor trying to save an icon". Fortune. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
Gary Loveman, a former Harvard Business School professor and current CEO of Caesar’s entertainment...
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Loveman joined Harrah's in 1998.
- "Life Lessons From Outgoing Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman". Wall Street Journal. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
Here are a few lessons the former Harvard Business School professor has tried to pass on from his roller-coaster ride atop the casino giant.
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Harrah's Entertainment Inc., the world's largest casino company, has changed its name to Caesars Entertainment Corp.
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Mr. Loveman, who will step down after 12 years as CEO on Tuesday but stay on as chairman...
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- "Caesars' Loveman Appointed to President's Export Council". Global Gaming Business. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "Visiting Committee". mit.edu. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- "Gary Loveman and Kathleen Walsh: A Pair Wins for Joslin". joslin.org. Joslin Diabetes Center. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "Board of Trustees, Boston Children's Hospital". childrenshospital.com. Boston Children's Hospital. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
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- Dorothy Huffey (28 September 2013). "Public Education Foundation honors Schorr, Loveman". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 4 October 2013.