Magna Slashes Management Staff

Magna Entertainment Corp. has begun management-level workforce cuts in an effort to reduce the company's growing losses.

MEC, which Oct. 30 reported third quarter operating losses of $15.4 million, is following through on plans to trim $5 million in expenses. The week of the Breeders' Cup, Magna officials notified investors members of the management team were being let go.

They include vice president of operations John Perrotta, a longtime horsemen hired in May; Andrew Gaughan, Magna's vice president of new media initiatives, and Sue Floyd, formerly corporate communications manager. All media calls were referred to chief executive officer Jim McAlpine, who did not return phone messages from The Blood-Horse.

McAlpine notified MEC shareholders cost-cutting measures were imminent during the company's third quarter earnings report teleconference. It was also announced at that time chief operating officer Roman Doroniuk had stepped down.

The cost-cutting measures apparently will not include the racetrack-level operations of Magna. Corey Johnsen, group vice president of Magna's southern operations, said company executives have not mandated any streamlining of racetrack operations.

"Obviously we are always looking to be efficient at the racetrack level but I'm not aware anything corporate is doing is related (to racetrack operations)," Johnsen said.