Harrahs CIO Bets Big On Caesars Merger
The $10 billion combined gambling empire envisions a future of RFID-wearing cocktail waitresses and slot machines smart enough to pay off the important gamblers first.When multi-billion companies are involved in an acquisition with 100,000 employees and more than $10 billion in combined revenue, executives typically must use statesman-like diplomatic phrasing to show that both sides are valued equally. But with the fierce backdrop of Las Vegas and casino giants Harrahs and Caesars, little is typical. The CIO of the acquiring firmHarrahs Entertainment CIO Tim Stanleybegan his meetings with the acquiree (Caesars) staff on the typical assumption, which is that both sides want to retain as much of their technology, procedures and culture as possible. But like a blackjack veteran deciding to hit on a hard 19, that first meeting had surprises for Stanley.
"We went into this assuming we were going to blend the two companies" from an IT perspective, Stanley said, but the Caesars people didnt want that. "They actually didnt feel that great about their technologies," he said, adding that after a briefing on the Harrahs systems, the Caesars people said, "Screw it. Lets go with your systems."