Hulman & Co., which owns Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar series, has chosen board member and local economic development leader Mark Miles as its new CEO, the firm announced Tuesday morning.
Miles, CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, will replace Jeff Belskus, who is serving as interim CEO of the IndyCar Series. Belskus assumed that role late last month after Randy Bernard was removed as CEO of IndyCar. Belskus is now expected to focus primarily on the Speedway and IndyCar, according to Hulman & Co. Miles will take the CEO post on Dec. 17.
In March, Miles was appointed as a director of Hulman & Co. He served as chairman of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee and is a former CEO of the ATP Tour, which helps oversee men’s professional tennis.
Miles will lead the overall business direction and management of Hulman & Co., including a key role in the refinement and implementation of the company's long-term strategic plan. Hulman & Co. is comprised of Clabber Girl Corp., Georgetown Realty, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar, IMS Productions and various other business entities.
"The combination of his international sports experience and leadership of large-scale events like the 2012 Super Bowl, along with his diverse experience with public and private corporations, makes him an exceptionally positive match for our business," said Mari Hulman George, IMS chairman of the board, in a prepared release.
"His business acumen, his ability to cultivate and develop partnerships and the extensive network in sports and business he will provide will strengthen all of our business units. His service as a member of the Hulman & Co. board of directors has prepared him to contribute to the organization from day one," George said.
"I'm excited about joining the team and contributing my lifetime learning from international professional sports, large-scale major sports events and business environments," Miles said in a prepared statement. "I have worked for companies with global profiles and brands, and I'm happy to continue that on behalf of the Hulman-George family and its significant business interests."
Miles is widely recognized as one of the top “power brokers” in the city, with connections that reach deep into the political and business communities. Beginning in 1974 as a campaign aide to Richard Lugar in his unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate, Miles caught the attention of political heavyweights like Bill Hudnut and Dan Quayle and soon was running their election campaigns.
Through the 1980s, he was a go-to guy for handling complex projects on a civic level, taking over and revitalizing the city’s men’s pro tennis event (then the GTE Championships), and heading the organizing committee for the Pan American Games in 1987.
He then became executive director of public affairs for Eli Lilly and Co., and hand-picked his replacement—longtime friend Mitch Daniels—when he left in 1990 to become CEO of the Association of Tennis Professionals, the governing body for men’s pro tennis.
Hulman & Co. officials noted Miles' transformative influence on the ATP in their announcement Tuesday. During his 15-year tenure, the ATP posted revenue gains, launched innovative marketing initiatives and expanded its global presence through successful events in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
In 2006, Miles took over the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, which he remodeled as an economic development powerhouse for the life sciences, information technology and advanced manufacturing.
CICP officials did not immediately return calls Tuesday morning about Miles' new position and the future of the organization.
Early in Miles' tenure with CICP, Clarian Health Partners CEO Dan Evans (now CEO of the IU Health hospital system) described Miles as "one of the best complex-problem solvers I know.
"This is someone who can deal with big issues, but skinny it down to, 'What do I have to do? What's the goal? And how will I know when I get there?'"
Miles headed up Indianapolis' successful bid for Super Bowl XLVI, and served as chairman of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee.
“I’m thrilled for Mark," said Allison Melangton, president of Indiana Sports Corp. and formerly the president and CEO of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee. "Mark is a great choice [for Hulman & Co.]. He is a truly innovative leader whose vision has impacted Super Bowl XLVI, the ATP Tour and countless other initiatives in remarkable ways."
In the video below from IBJ's "Leading Questions" series, Miles reflects on his history in Indianapolis and the many projects that he has championed.
Belskus will continue as president of Hulman & Co., president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. and interim CEO of IndyCar. He has served as president and CEO of Hulman & Co. since October 2011, one of his many senior management roles in Hulman & Co. operations over the last 25 years.
"By allowing Jeff to focus on the racing businesses and significantly less on the other business units, we are clearly aligning our executive management team to move the company forward," George said.
"We see opportunities to continue the growth of IndyCar, which I view as an exciting challenge," Belskus said. "My passion is rooted in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar, and I have been energized by the opportunity we have in the short and long term for both organizations."