Robert Evans will retire as executive chairman of Churchill Downs Inc.’s board of directors and as a member of management, effective September 30. He will remain as the non-executive chairman of Churchill Downs’ board of directors, according to a news release.
The company said the changes will complete the senior executive leadership transition that was started in August 2014. At that time William Carstanjen was named the company’s chief executive officer, a position Evans had held since joining Churchill Downs in August 2006.
During Evans’ nine-year tenure, Churchill Downs experienced significant growth as the company invested nearly $1.8 billion in four major initiatives:
• New events and major improvements—including the Mansion and a giant video board–were added at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville. The company reached new long-term agreements for presenting sponsor and television rights. Also, in 2015 new records were set for attendance, wagering and profitability for the Oaks and the Derby.
• The company entered into the advanced-deposit wagering business with the launch of TwinSpires.com in 2007, and later acquired AmericaTAB, Bloodstock Research Information Services and Youbet.com Inc.
• Since 2008, Churchill Downs has built or entered into agreements to acquire all or part of eight regional casinos in seven states.
• In a new growth opportunity for the company, last year Churchill Downs acquired Big Fish Games Inc., one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of mobile and online casual games.