New IndyCar CEO Jeff Belskus indicated in interviews on Thursday that the organization will continue the direction laid down by Randy Bernard, who departed IndyCar's CEO post following a hastily convened meeting of the Hulman & Company board on Sunday night.
“We've had a plan for 2013 for many months and we continue to execute on that plan,” Belskus told SPEED.com's Marshall Pruett. “That includes the deep dive I'm doing over there on the status of those initiatives. The organization is focused on moving forward with those plans. Some things have already been implemented.”
In a separate interview with the Indianapolis Star, Belskus said that Bernard's exit came as part of a normal review process.
“I've been asked what led to the board's decision on Randy earlier this week to part ways, and you know it's common for a normal review process to take place at the end of each season, and when the board and Randy began comparing notes it became clear that separation was best for both parties,” Belskus said. He conceded, however, that the manner of Bernard's departure – which came with a tepid statement of support for Bernard's future as CEO 48 hours before the announcement came that he was leaving – was handled poorly. “I think in terms of style points, we could have done better,” he said.
Belskus, who is embarking on his second stint as IndyCar CEO after having previously replaced Tony George in that role in 2009, said that the board intended to conduct a "thorough search" for a permanent CEO to replace Bernard, although he said that there was no timetable for that process.