Churchill Downs Inc. Names Carstanjen CEO

Churchill Downs Inc. Names Carstanjen CEO
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
William Carstanjen

The board of directors of Churchill Downs Inc. has named William Carstanjen the company's 12th chief executive officer, a position held by Robert L. Evans since August 2006.

Carstanjen has been the company's president and chief operating officer since March 2011.

Evans will remain as chairman of the board of directors and will continue his full-time daily involvement in the leadership of the company. He is focusing on strategy, acquisitions, senior management selection and development, technology initiatives, legislative initiatives, and the iconic Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) events, according to a CDI release. 

Over his career, Carstanjen, 46, spent 5 1/2 years as an attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, and five years at General Electric Company in Connecticut. Since joining CDI in July 2005, Carstanjen has served as the company's general counsel and chief development officer (2005-2008), as COO (2008-2011) and, most recently, as president and chief operating officer. He has led CDI's diversification strategy into online wagering via TwinSpires.com, including the acquisitions of Youbet.com, AmericaTab, and Bloodstock Research Information Systems (BRIS); the growth of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby events; and into regional casino gaming.

"I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead Churchill Downs," said Carstanjen in a statement. "Over the last several years we have transformed Churchill Downs into a diversified growth company while continuing to strengthen and invest in our traditional horse racing business. Today, CDI is better positioned strategically and operationally, and is stronger financially and organizationally, than perhaps at any time in its 140-year history. I'm excited about our terrific team and the future of our racing, gaming, and online businesses and new businesses we may yet enter."

In addition, William E. Mudd has been promoted to president and chief financial officer. Mudd has served as the company's executive vice president and CFO since joining CDI in October 2007. Mudd will be responsible for operations at the company's tracks and gaming properties, except for Churchill Downs Racetrack, and for all finance activities, corporate-level communications, and investor relations. He will report to Carstanjen.

Prior to joining CDI, Mudd, 43, spent 15 years at GE in multiple businesses inside and outside the U.S.  Since joining Churchill, Mudd has been responsible for all of CDI's financial activities, managing the company's capital structure, leading CDI's information technology group (2007-2011), and, since 2011 leading the company's business development activities.

"Having worked in finance for most of my career, I appreciate this opportunity to expand my experience in the operations area," said Mudd. "The vast majority of our employees are at our tracks and casinos and I look forward to working with them to continue CDI's success."

Evans, Carstanjen, and Mudd will assume their new roles beginning Aug. 28.

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