Magna Entertainment Names CEO, Director

(Edited press release)
Michael Neuman was named Magna Entertainment's new chief executive officer and Charlie J. Williams was appointed to the company's board of directors, it was announced Feb. 27.

Neuman, who was also named to the board of directors, succeeds Frank Stronach, who has been interim chief executive officer since March 2006. For several months Neuman has been an advisor to Stronach on MEC's strategic and operational priorities. During this period working with other MEC personnel, he has already contributed to improvements in operational effectiveness, enhancing the value of MEC's intellectual property and marketing opportunities that are available via the internet for XpressBet, MEC's advance deposit wagering platform. He has also initiated a number of activities to enhance the value and distribution of HRTV, MEC's horseracing television channel.

Neuman's 25 year business career includes senior executive leadership of public and private companies in Canada, the United States and Europe in telecommunications, internet and broadcasting, in consumer products and services and business-to-business environments.

Prior to joining MEC, Neuman was most recently president and COO of EchoStar, which operates DISH Network in the United States. Before EchoStar,  Neuman was president of Bell Mobility, a wireless telecommunications operator in Canada.

Williams, who is an independent director, has agreed to serve as a member of the audit committee of MEC's board of directors. Williams is currently a consultant to the city of Highland Park, Mich., advising the emergency financial manager regarding financial and administrative matters. He has also been a representative to the Wayne County (Mich.) Airport Authority Board.

Prior to that appointment, beginning in 1998, Williams held various executive level operational positions in public service with Wayne County, such as deputy county executive and chief of staff of the Wayne County office of the executive. Williams has also been a long-time Thoroughbred horse owner, trainer and breeder.

In connection with Williams' appointment, MEC forwarded a letter to Nasdaq indicating that the audit committee of MEC's board now has at least three independent directors, as required by the Nasdaq audit committee requirements provided for in Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4350(d).

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