(Edited press release)
The board of directors of Breeders’ Cup Limited named Gregory Avioli as the organization’s president and chief executive officer at a Lexington meeting Thursday, April 19. Avioli, 42, had been serving as the interim president and CEO since June of last year.
Avioli’s appointment follows a six-month search conducted by a committee of the Breeders’ Cup board and the international executive search firm SpencerStuart.
“Since his appointment last June, Greg has done an excellent job running our operation and positioning the Breeders’ Cup for growth," said Breeders’ Cup chairman Bill Farish. "He has the overwhelming support of the board. The board shares his vision for the future development of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the Breeders’ Cup brand. We are pleased to announce his appointment effective immediately.”
“This is an exciting time for the Breeders’ Cup,” said Avioli. “We will continue to focus on growing the international market for our championships, creating a successful two-day event and promoting the Breeders’ Cup brand with both our television and sponsorship partners. I look forward to fulfilling the Breeders’ Cup Board members’ collective vision for the property.”
In his nine months as interim president and CEO, Avioli implemented a restructuring of the organization under the direction of the Breeders’ Cup board, and managed the company through a series of milestones and innovations, including: implementing the most financially successful Breeders’ Cup day in the event's 23-year history; developing the Breeders’ Cup Challenge; expanding of the Breeders’ Cup to a two-day format with three new $1 million Breeders’ Cup races; and establishing a marketing alliance with the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Prior to being named interim President and CEO, Avioli served as deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association from 2001-2006. He was the NTRA's general counsel and vice president of business affairs from 1998-2000.