Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tony George Ousted At IMS

A report sports reporter Robin Miller filed last month claiming that Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Tony George had been ousted by fellow board members came to fruition today. Despite a denial by George and other family members of his ouster last month, the Directors of the IMS and Hulman & Co. announced today that Curtis Brighton will become the new CEO of IMS and Jeffrey Belskus will take the helm of Hulman & Co. The IBJ quotes from a press released issued today:

“Our board had asked Tony to structure our executive staff to create efficiencies in our business structure and to concentrate his leadership efforts in the Indy Racing League,” Mari Hulman George, IMS chairwoman, said in a statement. The statement did not specify whether he will be the top executive of the IRL.

The statement continued: “(Tony) has decided that with the recent unification of open-wheel racing and the experienced management team IMS has cultivated over the years, now would be the time for him to concentrate on his team ownership of Vision Racing with his family and other personal business interests he and his family share.

“Tony will remain on the board of directors of all of our companies, and he will continue to work with the entire board to advance the interests of all of companies.

“Our family and the entire racing community are grateful to Tony for the leadership and direction he has provided since 1990,” Mrs. George said. “We are pleased that he will continue to be an important part of the Indy Racing League as a team owner and as a member of our Board of Directors, and we wish him every success.”


Dana said...

A lawyer. A lawyer that has been with the company a long time, but still...

Well, we'll see.

Dana said...


Replaced by a lawyer. We'll see...

"CFO Jeffrey Belskus is the new CEO of IMS Corp., and the current vice president and chief legal counsel W. Curtis Brighton is the new president and CEO of Hulman & Co. (the company that purchased the IMS back in 1945). The changes will take effect July 1."

Beancounters! Accountants and lawyers. Great. The bane of GM for forty years...


varangianguard said...

Mari's statement. Hah. If she wrote that, I'm a monkey's uncle.

Plus, it's all about the siblings' children moving into the organization.

It remains my unsupported feeling that Tony assumed his female child would take over someday, when his sisters have male progeny. They objected. Tony got the gig just because he was the only boy child, and maybe one of his sisters still holds a little grudge there.

Long simmering resentments to the fore!

Gary R. Welsh said...

I know from someone who worked for Tony Hulman that he was emphatic before he died that his daughter, Mary Hulman George, not be allowed to run the family businesses. He handpicked Joe Cloutier to run things until Tony George was old enough to run the family businesses. Tony Hulman shed no tears when his daughter's boyfriend shot and killed Elmer George, his son-in-law, in "self-defense."

varangianguard said...

In retrospect, I kinda feel a little sympathy for Mari. Only child, Dad wanted a son, Mom not very motherly. Probably inherited the worst parts from each parent, and learned their worst behaviors.

I used to feel sorry for Elmer, but no more. He made his bed, and it caught up with him. Today, I'm kind of surprised Mari had four kids by him. It's little wonder she looked elsewhere for emotional comfort.

Joe Cloutier moved a few doors down from Mari's Terre Haute homestead. Likely was nearby to provide some kind of fatherly presence.

I don't feel sorry for Tony Hulman. He really wanted a son to hand his empire over to, and probably never helped Mari try to succeed him, and also was partly responsible for the way she behaved (as one of her parents).

All of this is simply extrapolation, based solely upon a lifetime of distant proximity to the Hulman-Georges. Distant proximity = all of the gossip without any first hand knowledge.

Gary R. Welsh said...

This is a true story. After Elmer died, Tony Hulman approached Birch Bayh, who had lost his first wife, Marvella to cancer, and asked him to marry his daughter. Birch was offered control of the Hulman companies in consideration for this small sacrifice. Birch, obviously, had better taste in women and said no, even if it would have made him a super wealthy man. Tony never begrudged him. If you notice to this date, lots of those people working out at the Speedway used to work for either Birch or Evan.

varangianguard said...

Oh, point of clarification. It was Joe, Jr. who moved nearby (not Sr.).

Your story certainly has a ring of truth to me. Quite plausible.

Interesting to speculate on the possibility of Evan and Tony becoming step-brothers at that point.

jabberdoodle said...

I know the whole IRL CART split was anathema to some people. But, the Track won't be the same place without Tony. Kinda sad.

I hope the new beancounters don't start looking to the taxpayers for support for their bottom line. If its not YOUR family's business pride on the line, you might be tempted.