IMS denies George has been sacked
|By Jeff Olson||Wednesday, May 27th 2009, 19:25 GMT|
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has released a statement reiterating Tony George's position as CEO of the Speedway following published reports that George had been voted out of the role during an IMS board meeting on Tuesday night.
American media reports suggested that George had essentially been fired by his three sisters, who were angry over excessive spending estimated at $600 million since he started the Indy Racing League in 1996. That report and others indicated the IMS board might be interested in hiring Humpy Wheeler to replace George.
However, a statement was subsequently released saying that while the board had asked George to devise a plan for the management of the family companies "that would allow him to focus on the business which requires the greatest attention", he remained in his role as CEO.
"Contrary to published reports, I continue to serve as CEO of IMS," said George. "Our board of directors met yesterday, and we did discuss how to best confront challenges and exploit opportunities facing our businesses. This is nothing new and is something that we continually do as a board.
"But no changes in leadership or responsibility have been made. We don't normally comment on board deliberations concerning our family business. However, the widespread, inaccurate reports and rumours caused my mother and me to conclude that it was necessary to set the record straight.
"If changes are made in the management of the company that are newsworthy, we will announce them when they are made."
The statement said that George's plan would be presented to the board later in 2010.
Chairman of the board Mari Hulman George added: "There was a general discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing all of our companies and where most of our energies need to be spent. All of our properties are doing well, given the challenges of the current economy. The Indy Racing League represents our greatest growth opportunity and therefore deserves the most attention at this point."