Hulman George family dispute sends Tony George packingUPDATE Since Belskus has taken over, more than 40 IMS and IRL employees have been terminated. Belskus also is investigating other business initiatives, including turning the Speedway into a multi-use facility, and outsourcing catering and operations at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort.
George's departure leaves myriad questions as Belskus works to put his stamp on the operation. Some racing sources say his departure shows just how deep the rift is between George and the rest of his family regarding the direction of the company.
There has even been speculation that the board could move to spin off the IRL [And it will in 2013 if it is not profitable by then], fold some of the events at the track, namely the Brickyard 400 or MotoGP motorcycle race, and possibly even consider selling the Speedway. Belskus has stressed several times that the IMS is not for sale and there is no consideration at this time to kill any of its events.
Among the things that rankled Tony George, motorsports sources said, was Belskus' and the board's decision to downsize May's Indy 500-related event schedule. IBJ.com
Tony George....was Indy
The Board of Directors of Hulman & Company and affiliated companies, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has received the resignation of Anton H. "Tony" George from the board of directors effective immediately, according to Mari Hulman George, chairman.
"As members of his family, we are sorry to see Tony leave," said Mrs. George. "We are grateful for his service to our company as a board member and of course for formerly serving as CEO and president of our companies. I speak for our whole family in wishing him well.
"All of us had hoped that Tony would continue to serve on the board, and we made that clear to him. We are disappointed with his decision to step down despite our wishes."
His resignation removes George from any remaining role in Hulman & Company, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy Racing League, IMS Productions and other affiliated companies. His term as CEO of the family companies ended June 30, 2009. He continues to be involved in racing through his ownership of Vision Racing, a competitor in the IZOD IndyCar Series of the Indy Racing League.
The board vacancy will be addressed at a later date. In addition to Mari Hulman George, board members include Nancy George, Josie George, Kathi George-Conforti and Jack Snyder.
Mari Hulman George said she is very pleased with the direction of the company and the progress that has been made during the last six months.
"Our company is healthy and is weathering the economic recession well," she said. "Jeff Belskus, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Curt Brighton, president and CEO of Hulman & Company, are both doing excellent jobs in guiding our companies through this difficult time. Many hard decisions have been made, and now our companies are well positioned for the future."
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