Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Tony George and Auto Racing and Sports Business

Tony George voted back onto Hulman & Co. board

February 17, 2011

Tony George has been voted back onto the board of directors of Hulman & Co., the family company that oversees the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar Series.

Hulman & Co. announced in a statement Thursday that it expanded its board of directors from four to eight “in an effort to best position the company to take advantage of the promising outlook over the upcoming years.”

The changes were made at a regularly scheduled quarterly shareholders meeting.

In addition to Tony George, the new members are HHGregg Inc. Chairman Jerry Throgmartin, LDI Ltd. Chairman Andre B. Lacy and Michael L. Smith, a former WellPoint Inc. executive.

“As we strive to position Hulman & Co. to be more competitive and relevant in this marketplace, the current board believes we can strengthen our position by calling upon the successful business expertise of these additional board members,” IMS Chairwoman Mari Hulman George said in the statement.

“We are pleased to welcome Andre, Mike and Jerry to the board. In addition, I am particularly pleased that we will be adding Tony to the Hulman & Co. board, a board upon which he has been a member in the past.

“Over the last 18 months, we have successfully positioned Hulman & Co. for future growth through strong management, limited streamlining and other efficiencies. We are excited about the future, and we believe the addition of these board members and their long and proven history of extremely successful business management will benefit Hulman & Co. greatly.”

The new board members will not be involved in day-to-day management of Hulman & Co., and the company's management structure isn't changing, the statement said.

Tony George stepped down as CEO of Hulman and Co. and resigned from its board in June 2009. His departure came after board members—namely Tony’s three sisters—squabbled over his management of the track and open-wheel series, which has failed to turn a profit in its 15-year history.

It’s not clear how George’s re-emergence at the company will affect the IMS, the Indianapolis 500—which is celebrating its centennial this year—or the IndyCar Series.

Sources close to the IMS and series said that Mari Hulman George, the family matriarch, insisted on her son’s re-instatement to the board. The board was previously composed of Mari Hulman George and her three daughters—Nancy George, Josie George and Kathi Conforti-George.

Speedway officials say it's possible George also will return to the IMS board, but that has not been determined.

George stepped down as both Hulman & Co. and IMS CEO on June 30, 2009. Sources close to the Hulman George family said Tony’s three sisters in recent years had become upset over his heavy spending on the open-wheel series he formed in 1994.

Tony George was replaced as chief executive by a pair of longtime company employees—Jeff Belskus at IMS and Curt Brighton at Hulman & Co. George had held those positions since 1989.

Hulman & Co. also manufactures Clabber Girl Baking Powder, and has businesses in the banking and real estate sectors.

In March, former Pro Bull Riders CEO Randy Bernard was hired to replace Tony George as the boss of the open-wheel series. SpeedTV reported last year that Tony George made an unsuccessful attempt to buy the series.
 

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