Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) yesterday announced a series of changes to its BOD and exec team, including the retirement of Chair CARL POLLARD
, effective June 16. The BOD has selected President & CEO ROBERT EVANS
to succeed Pollard and to take the title Chair & CEO. CDI COO WILLIAM CARSTANJEN
has been promoted to President & COO, effective immediately. Finally, the BOD appointed Dir G. WATTS HUMPHREY JR.
as the board's Lead Independent Dir, also effective June 16 (CDI
). In Louisville, Gregory Hall notes with Evans assuming the role of Chair & CEO, it is the “first time in decades that one person has held both posts.” Evans, 58, has been CEO since '06 and “will be the fifth consecutive thoroughbred breeder” to be chair. Carstanjen “takes on the additional role of president, more clearly establishing his role as the No. 2 executive at the company.” That change is “immediate and, for the interim between now and the annual meeting" on June 16, Evans will be CEO & Chair-elect. Carstanjen, when asked if the “changes mean he’s Evans’ heir apparent,” said, “This just means I’m the president and we’re focused on the now and the strategy for business going forward.” Evans’ contract runs through '16 (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 3/22
). The DAILY RACING FORM’s Marty McGee wrote Pollard’s impending retirement “signals an end to a long and prosperous era.” Pollard had served on the BOD since '85 before being named Chair in ’01. CDI during his tenure has “undergone tremendous change and expansion” (DRF.com, 3/21