Mark Frissora got a lot of advice when he took on the difficult job of CEO at Caesars Entertainment as it was going through intense and brutal negotiations in bankruptcy. But he says the one piece of advice that guided him the most was from his father.
“Making sure you never quit,” he says.
Frissora says the most important leadership lesson he learned during those rough two years was staying positive.
“No matter what the adversity is, no matter how difficult the negotiation, or what the publicity is around your bankruptcy, you always have to keep a positive face and keep your team positive at the light at the end of the tunnel,” he explains.
Caesars emerged from bankruptcy in early October and Frissora talks enthusiastically about the company’s strong balance sheet and his plans for growth.
Before Caesars, Frissora was the CEO of car rental company Hertz Global Holdings. He also held executive positions at General Electric and Tenneco. Those experiences, he says, have prepared him well for his new role at Caesars, even though he confesses that he has never worked in the casino gambling business. But it does not appear to be a shortcoming.
“I love entertainment. I love hospitality. I love eating,” says Frissora, who adds that he also loves playing blackjack. “So for me, it was like coming to a place that was fun to work, not a burden.”