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New Churchill CEO Must Have Global View

Wednesday, 5th April 2006

We-Have-Seen-The-Future Update: Churchill Downs president & chief executive Tom Meeker (who retires when his employment contract expires in March 2007) emphasised the next Churchill chief executive "must have an understanding of technology & the globalisation of the pari-mutuel industry," reported bloodhorse.com. Meeker confirmed "a search for a replacement is under way" & noted that, while knowledge of the racing industry "would be helpful for any candidate, other things are more important". He particularly mentioned: "You have to understand the dynamics of business in general. The globalisation of racing is imminent & the same issues that impact racing in the US affect it in other countries. The chief executive will have to have skill at understanding what's going on beyond the borders of the local marketplace. An opportunity exists & whoever takes the helm has to understand that dynamic even more so than understanding racing in general. I came to Churchill Downs not understanding racing, but I understood what had to happen. I think that's more important than having a life-long racing enthusiast in the position." During Meeker's tenure (which began in 1984) the company went from having 1 track (Churchill Downs) to owning 6 others; & Churchill is currently working with Magna Entertainment on developing simulcast markets for US racing in Europe.

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