CDI Unveils Organizational Changes

Churchill Downs Inc. unveils organizational changes.

Churchill Downs Inc. has announced several changes to its organizational structure that will include the recruitment of a new president for its signature racetrack.

Steve Sexton, who most recently served as president of Churchill Downs race track, has been named president and chief executive officer of a new wholly-owned subsidiary that will focus on entertainment management for CDI, according to a Jan. 19 news release. CDI said it has restructured its organization to implement a new growth-based strategic plan.

“The racing, gaming, and entertainment we provide customers are very inter-dependent, regardless of whether they are delivered on-site at our tracks, casinos and OTBs, or online via or other online sites,” Robert L. Evans, president and chief executive officer of CDI, said in the release. “In the currently tough economic environment, many companies are announcing reorganizations and layoffs intended to reduce costs. Our changes here, however, are about aligning the right leaders at CDI with the strategic growth opportunities we believe exist.”
Sexton, who in 2001 joined CDI as president of Arlington Race Course, served as Churchill Downs track president since 2002, and was named CDI executive vice president in 2006. His new responsibilities will include conceiving, developing, producing, and managing new entertainment activities, including new racing events, concerts, and other concepts.
“Steve is uniquely qualified to take on this important new senior leadership role,” Evans said. “He has managed six runnings of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, Breeders’ Cups at Arlington Park and Churchill Downs, concerts by The Rolling Stones and The Police, plus a myriad of other major racing and entertainment events.”

CDI said it will immediately begin the search for a new president of Churchill Downs racetrack with both internal and external candidates considered.

In another move, William C. Carstanjen has been promoted to the position of chief operating officer of CDI, responsible for all on-site operations, including racing and gaming at Arlington Park Racecourse, Calder Race Course, Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots, and all of the company’s off-track betting facilities. Carstanjen joined CDI in July 2005 as executive vice president and chief development officer. Since early 2008, he has also had operational responsibility for Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots and Calder Race Course.
Additionally, James E. “Ted” Gay has been promoted to the position of senior vice president responsible for business development activities, replacing Carstanjen. Gay joined CDI in 2003 and worked on the formation of TrackNet Media, as well as the acquisitions of AmericaTab and Bloodstock Research Information Services.