International Game Technology

(IGT) - Get Report

selected its chief executive, Thomas J. Matthews, to succeed Chairman G. Thomas Baker.

Matthews, who will retain the CEO's job, will take over the chairman's post on March 1 at the company's annual shareholder meeting. He was named chief operating officer in December 2001 and chief executive in October 2003. Matthews has served on IGT's board of directors since December 2001, when IGT acquired Anchor Gaming.

Baker became chairman in October 2003 after a 16-year career with the company. He announced his retirement last month, saying he had accomplished the goals he had set at IGT and wished to pursue other interests.

"I'm pleased the board of directors has selected T.J. to replace me as chairman," Baker said. "Throughout my career, I've focused on succession planning with the philosophical goal of promoting from within. I feel this appointment is in line with that philosophy and one that will contribute to the ongoing success of the company. T.J. has been a great CEO and will be a great chairman."

IGT makes slot and video lottery machines and software.

The company's shares finished Tuesday's session down 94 cents, or 2.7%, at $34.12.