IndyCar CEO Bernard steps down
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Randy Bernard's three-year tenure as CEO of IndyCar came has come to an end.
The board of directors of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. announced on Sunday that Bernard "will relinquish his position as CEO of IndyCar effective immediately" after the board convened a special meeting.
IMS President and CEO Jeff Belskus will take over Bernard's role in the interim. Belskus is also the President and CEO of the family-owned Hulman and Company, which owns IMS and IndyCar.
Bernard will continue to provide input for the overall operation of IndyCar through an advisory position with the sanctioning body.
"We are very grateful for the tireless effort that Randy has invested into learning, understanding and working to grow the IndyCar Series over the last three racing seasons," Belskus said in a statement. "As both Randy and our organization have reflected on the past season and as we look toward the opportunities ahead and how to best take advantage of them, we agreed that the timing was right to pursue separate paths."
Prior to his arrival to IndyCar in 2010, Bernard had been a top executive at the Professional Bull Riders Inc for 15 years. His appointment came eight months after Tony George resigned as CEO of IndyCar, which was then known as the Indy Racing League. George founded the IRL in 1996.
Bernard was instrumental in the development and rollout of the first new chassis rules in nine years and the introduction of a new engine platform and multiple engine manufactures after six years of a single-supplier format. Chevrolet and Lotus joined Honda as engine suppliers for the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012.
"I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with the entire IndyCar community, its teams, drivers, loyal partners and fans," Bernard said. "The last three years have produced some exciting and some difficult times. But we have created a foundation for IndyCar that positions it to grow over the next several years, and I am proud of what everyone at IndyCar has been able to accomplish since I came on board."
Belskus served as CEO of IndyCar from July 2009 through Feb. 2010. He will continue to serve in his roles with Hulman and IMS. Belskus noted that a specific timeline has not been established for announcing a permanent replacement for Bernard. He did add that IndyCar's leadership structure will be addressed as part of a current strategic planning process that includes assistance from global business management firm The Boston Consulting Group and would incorporate consultation with IndyCar stakeholders.
Belskus also affirmed that Hulman will not sell IndyCar.
"The organization is full of talented professionals, and we will continue to prepare for what will be a very exciting 2013 racing season," Belskus said. "Once again, IndyCar is not for sale, and the organization remains completely committed to owning and operating IndyCar."
Bernard's stepping down comes nine days after George resigned his position from the Hulman and Company board of directors.
10/28 20:39:43 ET