Hulman & Company, the umbrella group that operates Hulman family holdings including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IZOD IndyCar Series, announced late Thursday, Feb. 17, that Tony George, founder of the Indy Racing League, was returning to its Board of Directors along with three new members, in "an effort to best position the company to take advantage of the promising outlook over the upcoming years."
George, grandson of IMS board Chairman Mari Hulman George and former Speedway boss Tony Hulman, was added to the board along with Andre B. Lacy, Michael L. Smith and Jerry W. Throgmartin during a regularly scheduled shareholders meeting. They join Mari Hulman George, Nancy L. George, M. Josephine George and Katherine M. George-Conforti.
"As we strive to position Hulman & Company to be more competitive and relevant in this marketplace, the current board believes we can strengthen our position by calling upon the successful business expertise of these additional board members," said Mari Hulman George. "We are pleased to welcome Andre, Mike and Jerry to the board. In addition, I am particularly pleased that we will be adding Tony to the Hulman & Company board, a board upon which he has been a member in the past.
"Over the last 18 months, we have successfully positioned Hulman & Company for future growth through strong management, limited streamlining and other efficiencies. We are excited about the future, and we believe the addition of these board members and their long and proven history of extremely successful business management will benefit Hulman & Company greatly."
George resigned as CEO of Hulman & Company and IMS in 2009, reportedly following a disagreement within the Hulman-George family over his stewardship, although Mari Hulman George said at that time that the board had urged him to stay on as a board member and at the helm of the IRL. The board subsequently chose Randy Bernard as CEO of the IRL, since re-branded as IndyCar.
George's departure in 2009 came 13 years after he launched the IRL as a rival to the CART-run IndyCar World Series. After a bitter war between the two rival American open-wheel series, they agreed to a merger for the 2008 season, with George initially staying on at the head of the unified championship until parting company with IMS/IRL. Since then his sole involvement with the series has been as owner of the Vision Racing team, which only ran a handful of races in partnership with Panther Racing last year.
The new board members will not have any day-to-day management duties with respect to Hulman & Company, and there will be no change in the current management structure of the company. Curt Brighton will remain president and CEO of Hulman & Company, while Jeff Belskus remains president of IMS and Randy Bernard remains CEO of IndyCar.