HONG KONG, July 6 (Reuters) - Wynn Macau said on Wednesday that prominent Chinese businesswoman Linda Chen would become president of the company in March 2023, a move that comes ahead of a key bidding war for new licenses in the world's biggest gambling hub.
Chen will succeed Ian Coughlan who has decided to transition to a role as an advisor to the company, according to a statement posted to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Chen has close ties to officials in China and the special administrative region of Macau, sitting on the Nanjing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory board.
Wynn Macau, owned by Las Vegas operator Wynn Resorts, said Chen has been important to its success in Macau.
On Tuesday, Macau published draft rules for the rebidding of casino licences ahead of the year-end expiration for Wynn, Sands China, MGM China, Galaxy Entertainment and Melco Resorts and SJM.
Casino operators are expected to submit bids in the coming weeks with a decision on new licenses set to be made later in the year.
The new casino contracts are slated to begin in 2023.
Macau on Wednesday locked down one of the city's most famous hotels, the Grand Lisboa, after more than a dozen COVID-19 cases were found there on Tuesday, with infections spreading rapidly. (Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)