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Randy Bernard fired?UPDATE #4 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's firing of Randy Bernard by the Hulman & Co. board.
10/26/12 IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard told the Associated Press today that he has not be fired, and he is not negotiating a settlement to leave his position. [Maybe he has not been told yet, but according to the IBJ, the plan was to keep the change under wraps for another week but it leaked out.]
One of IndyCar’s best-known drivers called on the sport to end the considerable speculation surrounding Randy Bernard’s future as chief executive officer.
A published report said Bernard had been fired and is negotiating an exit settlement, something Bernard and an Indianapolis Motor Speedway official denied Friday.
Still, Graham Rahal wants the madness to stop — no matter how it happens.
“Come on people,” Rahal wrote on Twitter. “Either keep Randy or fire him but this is foolish and embarrassing for the sport.”
An Indianapolis Business Journal story said Bernard had been fired, but IMS spokesman Doug Boles said Bernard “has not been fired” and his employment status “has not changed.”
Bernard is completing the third year of a five-year contract.
IMS CEO Jeff Belskus did not return calls to The Star. Bernard spoke to the Associated Press. Indy Star
IndyCar Series owners have fired CEO Randy Bernard, sources familiar with the situation told IBJ on Friday afternoon.
IndyCar board members and Bernard are currently negotiating a settlement package, sources said.
However, an official for the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway denied that Bernard has been fired.
“Randy has not been terminated and his employment status is the same as it was last week and last month,” said IMS spokesman Doug Boles. “At this point, Randy is not fired. That is the case at the moment and in the future.”
According to one source, IndyCar officials had hoped to keep the firing, which occurred Thursday, under wraps for two weeks, when they hope to have a contingency plan in place to operate without Bernard.
“The [IndyCar Series] is a bit disjointed right now,” the source told IBJ on Friday. “There’s no way they can keep this secret.”
Sources said IndyCar Series board members became upset when the open-wheel series lost between $7 million and $8 million this year. Bernard, a source said, told board members the series would be break even in 2012 and in the black in 2013.
“[Board members] feel Randy is a bit of a spender,” one source told IBJ. “They don’t want Randy digging any deeper of a hole.”
Bernard, who was formerly the head of the Pro Bull Riding circuit, was hired in 2010 on a five-year contract to replace Tony George.
The IndyCar Series is owned by the Hulman-George family, which also owns the Speedway.
George, who was formerly head of the IndyCar Series and IMS, led a deal in 2008 to consolidate open-wheel racing after the IndyCar Series' 12-year split with rival CART. He resigned under pressure from the IRL in 2009 after butting heads with his three sisters and mother, who led the board that oversaw the race series and Speedway.
George also resigned Oct. 19 from the Hulman & Co. board of directors, citing a conflict of interest because of a recent attempt to reacquire the series.
A source said the firing was not related to George's effort to buy the open-wheel circuit. IBJ.com
10/26/12 Another tweet from Jenna Fryer......
Now, IMS is saying "Randy Bernard's employment status has not changed." She also talked to Randy Bernard who said he was still employed.
Someone has screwed something up.
10/26/12 On twitter and we quote.....
"Very good source telling IBJ that IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard has been fired. The source is closely tied to racing but not working for series."
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