WH Smith | North America
Chairman of the Board
Michael serves as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of the Marshall Retail Group. He is strategically responsible for all aspects of this $155 million, 165-store retail business, with more than 1,100 employees and operations in 15 states in the U.S. and in British Columbia, Canada. He has been instrumental in overseeing the successful growth and opening of 128 retail locations during his tenure. Michael joined the company in September 2002, at which time MRG had 37 locations in only two states.
From 1999 to 2002 Mr. Wilkins served as the President of the Retail Division of Park Place Entertainment (formerly Caesars Entertainment). Park Place Entertainment was comprised of eighteen domestic casinos and hotels and seven major brands, including Caesars, Paris, Hilton, Grand Casinos, Flamingo, Claridge and Bally’s. Mr. Wilkins oversaw the operations of all aspects of the $100 million, 100-retail store division, and was responsible for leasing more than 300,000 square feet of retail space which generated more than $30 million in additional revenue.
From 1997 to 1999, he served as Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Market Development for Caesars World, Inc., where he was responsible for more than $27 million in annual revenue. In that role, he was the COO of Caesars World Merchandising, a subsidiary of Caesars World, Inc. He developed and managed the design and manufacturing of Caesars logo retail products sold in 33 retail locations at seven resorts and casino hotels nationwide. Additionally, Mr. Wilkins managed a fragrance line that retailed and wholesaled throughout the world.
From 1991 to 1997, he worked as Corporate Vice President, Market Development for Caesars World Inc. in Los Angeles and was a member of its Board of Directors. In this role, he developed company-wide marketing programs spanning all Caesars World properties as well as several ITT divisions, such as Sheraton and Madison Square Garden.
Michael received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston’s Conrad Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management in 1981 and participated in Duke University’s ITT Executive Development program. He is an Emeritus Board of Directors member of the Las Vegas Animal Foundation and formerly served on the Las Vegas Art Museum and Jewish Federation Boards. Mr. Wilkins loves the outdoors and, in 1996, he summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.