Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tony George out as president and CEO of IMS

(racer.com 6-30-09)

The Board of Directors of Hulman & Company and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Tuesday that a new management team comprised of veteran IMS executives W. Curtis Brighton and Jeffrey G. Belskus will head the Hulman-George companies effective July 1.

Brighton, currently executive vice president and chief legal counsel, will become president and CEO of Hulman & Company. Belskus, currently executive vice president and chief financial officer for the companies, will become president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation.

They will replace Tony George, who will no longer serve as president and chief executive officer of the Hulman-George companies but will remain a board member of the Hulman-George companies.

“Our board had asked Tony to structure our executive staff to create efficiencies in our business structure and to concentrate his leadership efforts in the Indy Racing League,” said Mari Hulman George, IMS chairman of the board. “He has decided that with the recent unification of open-wheel racing and the experienced management team IMS has cultivated over the years, now would be the time for him to concentrate on his team ownership of Vision Racing with his family and other personal business interests he and his family share.

“Tony will remain on the Board of Directors of all of our companies, and he will continue to work with the entire board to advance the interests of all of companies.

“Our family and the entire racing community are grateful to Tony for the leadership and direction he has provided since 1990. We are pleased that he will continue to be an important part of the Indy Racing League as a team owner and as a member of our Board of Directors, and we wish him every success.”

In a letter sent out to industry insiders prior to the announcement, a copy of which has been seen by RACER, Mari Hulman George explained, “Our family believes the greatest opportunity we have for growth is the Indy Racing League, and we had hoped Tony would agree to continue to be its CEO and to use all of his talents to attain that end. He has decided not to do that, though he will continue to support the League as a team owner and as a member of our board. Our whole family is dedicated to the growth and the future of the Indy Racing League and of all of our companies.

Mrs. George expressed confidence in the leadership of Belskus and Brighton, who both were originally hired by Tony George.

“Jeff and Curt have both been with the company for many years in positions of top leadership,” Mrs. George said. “Tony, as well as the entire Board of Directors, has the utmost confidence in their capabilities.

“Both of these men have years of experience and leadership within our companies. In addition, each of our companies has effective presidential leadership, and that will remain in place.”

Joie Chitwood remains president and chief operating officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC. Terry Angstadt and Brian Barnhart also retain the current positions as presidents of the commercial and competition divisions, respectively, of the Indy Racing League.

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