UPDATE 1-Sands China says chief executive leaves company

* Board conducting search for a permanent chief executive

* Jacobs’ departure will have no impact on company – analyst

* Latest in string of executive departures

* Shares end up 1.5 percent, in line with market
(Adds details)

By Sui-Lee Wee

HONG KONG, July 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Sands China (1928.HK: ), the
Macau unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS.N: ), said on Friday that
chief executive Steve Jacobs has left the company, the latest in
a string of Sands’ executives to go.

“Mr. Jacobs’ employment with the company was terminated …
with effect from July 23, 2010,” Sands China said in a statement
to the Hong Kong stock exchange, adding that Jacobs had also left
as a company director. It did not give a reason.

Michael Leven, Las Vegas Sands’ chief operating officer, had
been appointed acting chief executive officer, the company said,
adding that the board of directors was searching for a permanent
replacement.

Jacobs’ removal comes on the heels of the departure of Sands
China executive director Stephen Weaver, who left earlier this
year for personal reasons.

Two executives of another Las Vegas Sands unit in Asia,
Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands president Nigel Roberts and
vice-president of hotel operations Tony Cousens left the company
last August.

Jacobs’ departure should not have a big effect on Sands
China’s operations in Macau or its ability to complete its
planned mega casino resort project on Macau’s Cotai Strip, said
Aaron Fischer, CLSA’s head of Asian consumer and gaming research.

“We didn’t really feel he was bringing much to the table
because he didn’t have a gaming background and he wasn’t an
expert on Asia,” he said.

Hong Kong-listed shares in Sands China closed up 1.5 percent
on Friday, in line with a 1.1 percent rise in the benchmark Hang
Seng Index (.HSI: ).

Fischer said he was not surprised by the news given recent
media reports that Las Vegas Sands Chief Executive Sheldon
Adelson was unhappy over Jacobs’ comments about future plans
outside his realm of responsibility.

“I can’t say for sure that that’s the reason for his
departure, but when people are contradicting each other in the
press, it doesn’t look good,” Fischer said, adding that Jacobs
had been selling his shares recently.

Stock Market

(Editing by Doug Young and Chris Lewis)

UPDATE 1-Sands China says chief executive leaves company