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MGM Mirage executive Gary N. Jacobs resigns

Updated Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 | 6:51 p.m.

MGM Mirage on Friday disclosed the surprise resignation of Gary N. Jacobs, a director, general counsel and president of corporate strategy.

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t say why Jacobs resigned on Tuesday, and the company had no comment beyond the report to the SEC, a spokeswoman said.

The Las Vegas-based company said in its filing that under a “resignation agreement” with Jacobs, he will be paid $3 million over two and a half years and can exercise his vested stock options and stock appreciation rights.

Jacobs’ resignation was a surprise since the company on Aug. 31 had signed a new employment agreement with Jacobs in which he had agreed to serve until Aug. 4, 2013, at an annual base salary of $1.2 million.

One analyst suggested observers shouldn’t read much into the lack of company comment and the lack of a press release with company comment on Jacobs’ tenure and departure.

“Whatever happened, both parties of course agreed to it,” said Bill Lerner of Union Gaming Group.

“I know Gary contributed on tremendous scale over time,” Lerner said, adding he saw Jacobs at the opening of CityCenter enjoying himself, “which says something positive.”

Under the resignation agreement, Jacobs “provided a general release of claims against the company, and the company provided a limited release of certain claims against him,” MGM Mirage’s filing said.

“The agreement also provides that restrictive covenants (e.g., Mr. Jacobs’ agreement not to compete or solicit) included in his employment agreement survive the termination of the employment agreement and are incorporated into the agreement,” the gaming and hotel operator said.

A June SEC filing noted Jacobs, 63 at the time, had been a member of the MGM Mirage board of directors since 2000 and owned some 876,000 company shares.

He joined the company, then called MGM Grand Inc., shortly after MGM Grand completed its acquisition of Mirage Resorts Inc. in 2000.

Jacobs’ initial title was executive vice president — general counsel. He came to the Las Vegas company from the Los Angeles law firm of Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro LLP, where he was a partner.

MGM Mirage stock closed Friday at $9.64, down 25 cents or about 2.5 percent. The stock opened the week, which was dominated by CityCenter News, at $10.18.

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