A Rich Lifetime Of Achievements
How does one even begin to regard an astute and ambitious businessman with a biography that adequately describes a rich lifetime of achievements? Looking back on all the business ventures he was a part of, it is clear that he has accomplished great things: being on the team that started the Spanish language network Telemundo, helping create and launch Sega Channel, the first-ever interactive gaming channel on Cable television, making Avis a publicly-traded corporation, serving as a management consultant for private equity firms, delivering significant increases in market capitalization as CEO and President at Norwegian Cruise Line and Scientific Games. Importantly, Kevin Sheehan has made a point to share his business expertise and passion for transformation and entrepreneurial endeavors with students, as he also has served as a full-time professor at Adelphi University in New York, his home state.
Leading a Major Gaming Technology and Entertainment Company
Becoming Scientific Games’ CEO in August 2016, Kevin Sheehan was thrown into an industry that is not shy from competition and rather insular and a company that with a highly leveraged balance sheet. Scientific Games is a global company with 150 offices on six continents, is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has 9,500 employees. The mission of Scientific Games is “To empower our customers by creating the world’s best gaming and lottery experiences.” Scientific Games has always been an industry leader in innovation and offers an extensive and robust technological portfolio to its customers. Kevin Sheehan has stated that Scientific Games’ continued success was as a result of a long-term, planned vision and strategy that focused on a commitment to continuously improve the business operations to ensure the employees were working as efficiently and effectively as possible, and to produce the most engaging games and systems to drive its customers’ business forward.
Kevin Sheehan brought his knowledge from the traveling, hospitality, media and gaming industries into his work at Scientific Games by taking note of what customers care the most about. Aspects such as innovative content, new technology introductions and effective interface functionalities are at the core of new product and services development. As a company that is on the forefront of creating industry firsts, they are a world leader of end-to-end services, land-based and digital games, sports betting and systems that increase customer engagement and maintain long-term loyalty. Strong customer partnerships, along with the most comprehensive product and service portfolio in the industry, have helped drive sales for their international casino, lottery and sports betting customers.
The Best Leader to Grow Business Organically and Through Acquisitions
As a renowned business legend, there is no better match than Kevin Sheehan to grow businesses organically, purchase tuck-ins to enhance existing businesses and/or acquire companies that add new adjacent capabilities. This is exactly what Sheehan did at Scientific Games. He helped integrate previously acquired companies, including WMS, Bally Technologies and ShuffleMaster, acquired tuck-ins like DEQ, Red7Mobile and Spicerack Media and successfully helped negotiate the acquisition of NYX Gaming Group, which created a new division for digital and sports betting. The company’s spree of acquisitions have spurred its rapid growth.
Sheehan grew the business through acquisitions, but he also produced organic growth in the existing businesses, which all grew in his tenure. In fact, the company has had ten consecutive quarters of growth. Among his achievements as CEO and President of the company, Sheehan skyrocketed the company’s market capitalization from $700 million to a whopping $5.6 billion corporation. In a time frame that lasted less than two years, Sheehan , completed three refinancings for Scientific Games which allowed the company to save more than $125 million in interest year over year, and the stock price increased from $8.00 to $60.00. These figures yet again demonstrate how this business legend has taken all companies he’s worked for from good to great — making him a truly exemplary leader to learn from and hopefully someday follow in his footsteps.
Sheehan’s Time at Norwegian was a Fruitful One
At Norwegian Cruise Line, a multi-billion dollar corporation based in Miami, Florida, Kevin Sheehan transformed the company’s business model, brand identity, employee and guest experience and market position. He even went as far as to create a new-build program for the fleet in which he improved the design and financial health of the ships. One of the most notable impacts he made was increasing the equity valuation of Norwegian from $1 billion to $11 billion. He also managed to transform the company from enduring significant losses to rendering industry-leading margins, as well as revenue-per-day per guest and return on investment capital.
One of the methods he used to help increase Norwegian’s equity valuation was by successfully acquiring and integrating two other cruise lines: Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Sheehan’s time on the hit television show Undercover Boss, along with other fruitful initiatives, allowed him to recognize changes that needed to be made to the employee programs in order to increase their morale and productivity. Fleet enhancements, commitment to employees, and new routes, services and amenities resulted in the significant enhancement of employee engagement, partner satisfaction, and customer advocacy.
Kevin Sheehan’s success at Norwegian Cruise Line is highlighted in The Founder’s Mentality, the best-selling Harvard Business book written by Bain & Company’s Chris Zook and James Allen, that focuses on attaining lasting, profitable growth. Additional news and media interviews, some of which can be found on Kevin Sheehan’s personal Vimeo platform, depict this business legend’s particular methods for re-energizing the Norwegian ship fleet line-up. For instance, the addition of a water park and more family activities, such as experiential restaurants and a Nickelodeon-themed kids section with circus attractions, allowed the company to attract more prospective families away from competitors.
Sheehan’s Track Record of Success
In almost two years, Kevin Sheehan generated stellar results at Scientific Games, growing market capitalization from $700 million to $5.6 billion. At Norwegian, Sheehan increased capitalization from $1 billion to $11 billion. As someone who is known to lead by example, Sheehan won the “Miami Ultimate CEO” back in 2011, which was awarded to him by the South Florida Business Journal. Additionally, one of the Big Four accounting firms, EY, announced Sheehan as the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. Kevin Sheehan’s customer-centric approach, ability to motivate his executive team and employees, and his financial acumen have all contributed to his strong track record of skyrocketing the businesses he has led.