Caesars Entertainment Executive Shares View from the Top
by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud
There was a time in Las Vegas when hotels on the Strip would reportedly drain their swimming pools after the likes of Sammy Davis Jr. swam in them. That segregated history, which sparked a civil rights movement in the 1950s, makes the accomplishments of men like Michael Crome all the more remarkable.
Recently named vice president of finance, budget and planning for Caesars Entertainment (the first person in the company’s history to ever hold that title), the Columbus, Ohio, native arrived in Las Vegas in 2006. Not long after landing here, he secured a post at a Caesars property — an entry-level position that is customary for recent business school graduates.
“I completed my undergraduate work at the University of Akron and received a degree in accounting,” Crome said. “I worked as a consultant for some Fortune 500 companies, and assisted in making them more financially efficient. I went on to business school to get my masters, and received my MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Hard work has recently resulted in my promotion at Caesars, for which I am very grateful.”
Asked to explain his responsibilities at the company, Crome said, “I am responsible for managing the finance, budgeting and planning for our Caesars corporate offices, that support our 40 properties around the world. I am in the same corporate office as our [chief executive officer and chief financial officer]. In the past, the CFO was operating in the function that I now have. Obviously, he has other things to work on, and he asked me to step up and take on this new role. I have a very large function.”
As the conversation turned to Caesars Entertainment’s commitment to diversity, the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity member praised his company’s efforts to maintain a workforce that includes people of all backgrounds.
“We are so proud to have Fred Keeton, who leads our diversity initiatives, with Tony Gladney’s support,” Crome said. “We also have our African-American business resource group (BRG), Chorus, that is comprised of not only African-American employees, but colleagues who have innovative ideas to increase African-American guest participation. It is very important to me, and to our corporation at large, to service all people who constitute our existing and potential customer base. Our diversity initiatives are worldwide, but you can also see the results in our executive leadership.
For example, there are African-American Senior Vice Presidents and general managers in the corporation, such as Marcus Glover who operates our Cleveland, Ohio, casino property; John Smith who operates two of our casino properties in Atlantic City; and along with Duane Holloway is vice president and chief legal counsel for litigation in all of our Caesars Operations.”
As a living testament to the opportunities available at the world’s largest casino organization, Crome is eager to advise others looking to move up the corporate ladder.
“Education is crucial when competing for a job opportunity,” he said. “Make sure you are equipped with the right educational training that your dream job calls for. It is great to think, and for others to think, you are smart. But there are certain positions that you cannot get without the right credentials. If a job application requires you to have an MBA, I don’t care how smart you are, if you can’t check that box on the form, you can’t get past the first step for the job.
Know what kind of educational background is needed for a particular job, and go into the application process well positioned with laser focus. Also, I encourage people to network with others. Not just those who look like you, but with those who can benefit your … advancement. Networking is as easy as going to get coffee with someone, or lunch, and building that relationship.
Thirdly, I would suggest getting involved with the community. I am the vice chairman for Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada, and treasurer of the New Vista Community program — my participation on both of these boards is voluntary. I can’t tell you how … gratifying it is when you’re volunteering and giving back on behalf of humanity. It puts everything into perspective.”